14 Punctuation Marks and Their Uses in English Grammar

There are 14 punctuation marks that help create meaningful English sentences.


In this blog post, I’ll discuss this matter.


What Does Punctuation Mean?

Punctuation is the way of clarifying a piece of writing’s meaning. Every language has its own punctuation marks which make a piece of content meaningful.


Suppose that you’re using commas in a sentence like this – Jhon, the blind man, is coming to our house today. Here, if you don’t use the commas before and after the blind man, then the sentence couldn’t clarify the meaning.


So this is the power of punctuation.


Sometimes the meaning of a sentence can totally be changed if you use a punctuation mark in the wrong place.


You can see the importance of punctuation in written language, so you should be aware of using it properly. Otherwise, your writing will lose its meaningfulness.

The 14 Punctuation Marks

So what are the 14 types of punctuation marks in English grammar?


Well, here’s the list:

  1. Period (.)
  2. Comma (,)
  3. Colon (:)
  4. Semicolon (;)
  5. Hyphen (-)
  6. Slash (/)
  7. Apostrophe (‘)
  8. Quotation (“…..”)
  9. Ellipsis (…..)
  10. Brackets ( )
  11. Parenthesis
  12. Braces
  13. Question (?)
  14. Exclamation (!)


Now learn the proper usage of these punctuation marks. I’m showing the use of the marks so that you can understand how complex it’s to maintain all the punctuation marks properly in a writing.


Read: Grammarly review


Period or Full Stop (.)

The period mark is also known as the full stop. This mark takes the position in the ending of a sentence. So you’ll always have to use a period mark once you end a sentence.



I went there and saw Mr. Langdon.


He came to my home yesterday.


I was there 10 years back.


I think that using the period mark is quite easy, isn’t it?


There’s also another less common use of full stop which takes place when we use to shorten some words like no. for the number, Oct. for the month of October, etc.


The comma (,)

The Comma is a very useful punctuation mark in any language. So you should learn the proper use of this mark. When you need to pause before starting again, then you should use the comma.


You can also use a comma to add a phrase that doesn’t have any subject in it. And you know the common use of a comma when you need to segregate items in a list. In some sentences where multiple adjectives are used side by side, then comma comes to separate them.


The comma is also used in conditional sentences.


One suggestion that I wanna give you is that if you can make more sentences by removing a comma, then do that because of making your writing easy to read. This is because using several commas in a sentence to add different phrases may be hard to read by lower grades of people.



I’ll buy noodles, bread, jam, and some other necessary grocery items from the nearby store today.


If you go to the store today, please buy me a pack of coffee.


Read: Grammarly alternative


Colon (:)

The colon is a very useful mark that we mostly use for making headings. Sometimes, this mark is also used for showing pause.



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Semicolon (;)

The use of the semicolon is a confusing thing, so I wanna suggest you that you should separate those phrases that take semicolon. Connecting joining sentences requires semicolon and you’ll need to use this mark at the time of making segregated lists.



Jhon likes Marcedes Benz; Rohan likes BMW.


I had taken a lot of food in my breakfast; however, I’m hungry now.


The hyphen (-)

Hyphen comes when there’s a need for making a word with two split words. I’ll write a 5000-word blog post today that has a word that used a hyphen. The word is 5000-word. Here 5000 and word are two words, but to join them, a hyphen was used.



I rented a two-bedroom apartment in France last year.


When I knocked the door, his 70-year old grandfather opened the door.


Slash (/)

Slash comes to replace or. So I can use come today/tomorrow instead of today or tomorrow. There’s a current trend of using a slash to show gender-neutral writing like s/he.



You can add sugar/any sweetener to the milk as per your wish.


Will you call me today/tomorrow?


If a client hires you, s/he may want to check your skills.


The apostrophe (‘)

There’s another name of apostrophe which is an inverted comma. You’ll have to use an inverted comma or apostrophe when you need to show possession. I took Larry’s book yesterday where the apostrophe used for indicating that the owner of the book that I took was Larry.


An apostrophe is also used when you need to use the contracted form of a word. We use it’s to mean it is. You can also use I’m instead of I am.



This is Jhon’s book.

This means that the owner of the book is Jhon.


Malcolm’s strategy didn’t work here because you see that there’s no search traffic boost over the last 30 days.

Here Malcolm is an SEO strategist whose strategy didn’t work for the client.


We’re going to the part tonight.

So we’re has been used instead of we are.


Quotation (“…..”)

Quotation mark comes with a pair and inside it, there remains a sentence or word. It is used when there’s a need for writing somebody’s speech.



He said, “you shouldn’t call me anymore because we have no business from now.”

You see that to make the speech of the person as it’s, a quotation mark has been used. If you need to narrate the speech in your voice, then the quotation mark will be removed.


So you can write he said that I shouldn’t call him anymore because we have no business from then.


Ellipsis (…..)

Ellipsis takes place when you need to show that something will be following. Suppose that if I wanna express something like this: you should be reading from today……, it indicates that you should continue reading. It’s also used for showing unlimited occurrences. 0.99942424……………..



I’m going to discuss the matter in details in this post. So read on…

Here the ellipsis has been used to emphasize continual reading.


Brackets ( )

Brackets are also used in pairs. You can use them to write some complementary sentence or phrase to your main sentence. Note that removing the phrase or sentence inside a bracket is complementary, not mandatory. So if you do so, then the main sentence will be okay.



I’ll be hleping you (even if you don’t help me).



Parenthesis can be of different types like (), <>, {}, [] etc. The use of this is the same as a bracket. Parenthesis can be used in mathematics.



Do the math: 4x(5+9) =?

Here the parenthesis made the two numbers 5 and 9 together so that you can add them before you can multiply the total by 4.



Braces are like the previous two marks.


Question (?)

The Question mark is used for making a question. This takes place in the ending of an interrogative sentence. So a question mark will replace a period mark if the sentence is interrogative.


A question mark can be used in a math equation too if the result is unknown.



Could you please tell me how to make money online?


When does the train arrive at this station?


1+1 =?


Exclamation (!)

The Exclamation mark is used for indicating strong feelings. So we use exclamation marks when there’s a need for showing our feelings to a great extent.



What a shot!

If you see a great shot in cricket or tennis, you might talk like this.


Hurrah! Brazil have won the football world cup.


How to use the 14 punctuation marks properly?

So you have come to know about all the 14 types of punctuation marks and their uses.


Are you afraid of using them properly?


Don’t worry because you can use them without making any mistakes if you practice them on a regular basis.


So first of all, learn their uses well and then start using them when you write.


If you still struggle to use them correctly in your sentences, you can use a good punctuation checker too.


I use Grammarly to ensure that I’ve used all my punctuation marks correctly. ProWritingAid is another good punctuation checker that can be used too.


Final words

The punctuation marks are a fundamental element of the English language. Without using them in your writing, you can’t make it crisp and clear.


So you need to use the marks as perfectly as you can.


The usage isn’t that difficult, but you might do some wrong while crafting your sentences. Therefore, you should use a punctuation checker to check the uses of your punctuation marks.


Hope you’ll create flawless content.


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