Many people claim that punctuation marks in the English Language are hard to use. But that’s only true if you don’t know much about it, which is entirely normal. Whether for personal or professional purposes, you need to learn the basics of Punctuation marks, as the context of what you’ve written changes depending on which punctuation(s) is applied.
Punctuation marks are signs/symbols used in the English Language to make sentences and ideas clear and easy to comprehend. The significant punctuation marks used in the English Language include:
- Full Stop/Period (.),
- The comma (,),
- Question Marks (?),
- Exclamation Marks (!),
- The semiColon (;),
- Colon (:),
- The hyphen (-),
- Dash (_),
- Quotation Marks (” “) and
- Parenthesis ( ).
Here are the 5 Importance of Punctuation Marks:
- They help separate sentences, statements, or ideas.
You are likely to struggle to come across a reasonably long sentence without a full stop or comma while reading. When you don’t divide the sentences, the reader won’t know where one begins and another ends; thus, reading becomes challenging. E.g I want to go home I don’t want to live with Aunty Efe again Please take me home
- They help you to know when to pause and stop.
You use a period symbol to bring a sentence to a halt whereas the comma is used to signal the reader when to pause while reading, so they make sense. E.g I want to go home. I don’t want to live with Aunty Efe anymore, please take me home.
- Punctuation marks indicate where readers should place emphasis.
An excellent example of this is the exclamation mark (!), which shows excitement, surprise, shock, anger, etc. When you place an exclamation mark after a phrase or word, it tells the area that especially when reading aloud, the punctuation marks are there to emphasise the word. E.g I don’t want to live with Aunty Efe anymore, please take me home!
- They clarify the meaning of a sentence.
A sentence will make no sense if punctuation marks are left out or placed wrongly. E.g I want to go home.
- Punctuation marks save lives.
Of course, it does. It has successfully kept individuals from getting into trouble. For example: ‘Let’s eat, Grandma.’ (This means that Grandma is called upon to eat). Let’s eat Grandma (This meaning is different. It means Grandma has been considered fresh meat to devour).