What are the Punctuation Rules?


After studying this lesson you will understand how to use various punctuations while writing sentences, paragraphs, essays, or in examination papers.


The punctuation means the right use of putting in points or stops in writing to make it readable and understand it better.

Principal stops: There are six principal stops and three other marks and use of the capital word. Their use is discussed in succeeding paragraphs.

Full Stop

It represents the greatest pause and separation. It is used to mark the end of a declarative or an imperative sentence. It is also used in abbreviation but often omitted in modern style as Dear, Hari has stood first


Comma represents the shortest pause and is used to 

(i) Separate a series of words in the same construction 

(ii) Separate each pair of words connected by and

(iii) To mark off a noun or phrase in apposition 

(iv) After a nominative absolute 

(v) To mark off words used in addressing people 

(vi) To the mark of two or more adverbs or adverbial phrases coming together 

(vii) Before and after a participial phrase provided that the phrase might be expanded into a sentence and is not used in a qualifying sense 

(viii) Before and afterward, phrases or clauses, let into the body of a sentence 

(ix) To indicate the omission of a word especially a verb 

(x) To separate short coordinates clauses of a compound sentence. When there is a conjunction the comma is sometimes omitted 

(xi) To mark off a direct quotation from the rest of the sentence 

(xii) Before certain coordinative conjunctions 

(xiii) To separate from the verb a long subject opening a sentence 

(xiv) To separate a noun clause-whether subject or object-preceding the verb 

(xv) To separate a clause that is not restricted in meaning but is coordinate with the principal clauses usually omitted/

When the adjective clause is restrictive in meaning the commas should not be applied 

(xvi) To separate an adverbial clause from the principal clause. When the adverbial clause follows the principal clause the comma


 It represents a pause of greater importance than that shown by the comma. It is used 

(i) To separate the clauses of the compound sentence than shown by comma 

(ii) To separate a series 0f loosely related clauses


 It marks a more complete pause than a semicolon. Sometimes it is used with a dash after it. Colons are used                 

(i) To introduce the quotation  

(ii) Before enumeration 

(iii) Between sentences grammatically independent but closely connected in the sense

Question Mark

It is used, instead of a full stop after a direct question

Exclamation Mark

It is used after interjection and phrases and sentences expressing sudden emotion or wish.

Other marks in common use

Inverted commas

Is used to enclose the exact words of the speaker or a question


It is used to 

(i) indicate an abrupt stop or change of thought 

(ii)to resume a scattered subject


It is a shorter line than the dash. It is used to connect the parts of a compound word

Parentheses or double dash.Used to separate from the main part of the sentence a phrase or clause which is grammatically belong to it.


It is used to 

(i) To show the omission of a letter or letters 

(ii) In genitive case of a noun 

(iii) To form the plural of letters and figures

Capital letters are used to 

(i) Begin capital letters 

(ii) Begin a fresh line of poetry

(iii) Begin all proper nouns and adjectives derived from them 

(iv) For all nouns and pronouns which indicate deity 

(v) Write the pronoun I and the interjection

What do you think?

Know the common skills needed to do most jobs.

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