Punctuation Marks - A good guide towards reading and writing.
Punctuation is the device used in conveying or carrying out expressions we make in speech or in writing. They take the form of pauses which helps one to make sure that the meaning of what we are carrying out is correct and easily understood.
1.The full stop or period /./
2.Question mark /?/
3.Exclamation point/mark /!/
5.Semi colon /;/
6.The colon /:/
9.Bracket/parenthesis /( )/
13.Quotation marks /"/
The use of Capital Letters:
A.All proper nouns begin with capital letter(s) i.e. Names of people, villages, towns and cities, countries of the world, days of the week, months of the year, subjects, establishment like banks, schools, churches, special animals e.g. Bingo, things like big rivers, seas, oceans, rocks, mountains, Tec.
B.The first/initial letter of every sentence begins with a capital letter.
C.Begin the pronoun 'I' with a capital letter whoever it appears.
D.Initial letter of the Almighty/God/Lord/Christ begins with a capital letter.
E.Almost all quotation begin with capital letters.
F.Names and titles of books, prose, poetry, etc begin with capital letters.
1.Full Stop/Period /./
The full stop is used in these cases:
A. To mark the end of a complete sentence.
B.It is used after abbreviations e.g. P.O. Box 7, B.Sc, O.U.A
However, abbreviations which form part of the last letter when spelt in full should not go with full stop e.g. Mr (Mister) not Mr., Dr (Doctor) not Dr. but No. for number.
Furthermore, abbreviations which are pronounced like full words need not full stops in between them e.g. FIFA, ECOWAS, NEPA, INEC.
2.The Question Mark /?/
A.Question mark is used to mark the end of a direct question e.g. How old are you? (not indirect question e.g she inquired if I would come).
B.Echo questions: Your home is on fire. "My home!?"
Note:question mark and exclamation mark do not go with commas in direct or indirect speech.
3.Exclamation Mark/Point /!/
It us used to express a sudden emotion, amazement or high level anger. e.g Hello! Come immediately. Ah! It's right get out and never come back!
4.The Comma /,/
The main work of a comma is to show a pause.
A. To separate items on a list except the last two e.g. I learn the following subjects in school: English, Mathematics and Fine Art.
B.To seperate subordinate clause from the main clause e.g. Mr Okoro, who is a friend of mine, left early.
C.It is used in sentences to seperate words like, however, moreover, furthermore, therefore, from other words. Yes, No.
This replaces a comma in separating other parts of a sentence that are already seperated by commas-compound sentence e.g. It was an early December morning in Jo's, a cold weather town in Nigeria; my mother was at her cassava farm about two kilometres away.
6.The Colon /:/
This is used to introduce a long list of items e.g. The items she bought in the market includes: rice, beans, garri and beans.
7.The Dash /➖/
A.It is use as a pointer for more explanations e.g. in the spirit of 'Ujama' -The brotherhood of man.
B.Can serve as a space to fill in answers.
8.The Hypen /-/
A.It is shorter than a dash. It is used for joining compound words e.g. Son-in-law, bye-laws, passer-by.
A.Can be used to cover meanings of something already said/written.
B.To contain a list of items.
C.In examination, options are usually put in bracket.
A.It is used for shortened words (contraction) e.g. I've (I have); It's (it is), won't (will not).
B. To indicate possession e.g. The boy's biro; Girl's sec. School.
11.The Pointer /:-/
Colon can go with a dash to help at listing items.
12.The Slash/Virgule /
A.It is used to indicate alternative. e.g. it is Maths/English.
NOTE:It should be bent slightly.
13.Quotation Mark /" "/, /' '/
A.They are used for direct speech i.e the actual wrods or thought of a speaker. e.g. The teacher requested, "Please, come here".
B.They are used for titles of stories, poems, books, etc e.g. The title of my story is " The wise King".
C.Quotation marks are also known as 'inverted commas' single quotation marks can be used for foreign language e.g. when I saw my French aunty this morning, She said "Uncle Innocent, 'Bonjour' " or Okroa is a 'species' of fruit vegetable.
A.To show omission of a long line of sentences/words.
B.Indicates lack of time/space.
Note: It is only (3) three dots e.g. may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ... Now and forever more, Amen.
A. This indicates omission of a word/letter which is not deliberate as in contracted/abbreviations. e.g. It is time. I have gone. A word. The last example often looks odd.
A. Italics stand bold out of every typed written word.
B. Reference must be made of it wherever it appears.
C. Alternatively, it can be of the same size with others but must be underlined. e.g. What does 'OOF' as used in the passage mean?
17.Indent /➡/ (push in)
A. This invloves a long passage, instead of making a long quotation which might look odd, the best thing is to indent-indentation. e.g. In that story, he was able to expla in by quoting the Lord's prayer which goes this way:
Our Father who art in Heaven
Hallow be thy name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts
As we forgive our debtors
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver from evil
For thy is the Kingdom the power and
The Glory forever
Amen (Mattew 6:9-13).
Note:Some prose and poems are not puntuacted but each line begins with a capital letter. Good examples are the National Anthem, National Pledge and the prayer above.
It is a symbol like a star used in writing and printed to draw attention to something, especially an additional note or a FOOT NOTE. Put an asterisk beside/next to his name.
Source: Nnamdi555 (via Opera News )