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GRAMMAR & STRUCTURE — Examples
Punctuation

 
 

Punctuation Mark

Example

Rule

Period  .

Every sentence ends with a period.
Today is Wednesday.

Put a period at the end of a sentence.

Comma  ,

The man bought a shirt, pants, socks, and shoes.

Use commas to separate items in a list.

The man bought a shirt, pants, socks and shoes.

The final comma before the "and" may be omitted if the items are short.

The couch is big, black, and comfortable.

Use commas to separate adjectives. Always use commas for a series of adjectives after the verb.

The red, white, and blue shirt belongs to Tom.

Usually use commas for a series of adjectives giving the same kind of information before a noun.

Tom just bought an expensive Italian sports car.

Do not use commas for a series of adjectives giving different kinds of information.

Sunday was cold and rainy, but Monday was hot and sunny.

Use a comma before the conjunction that separates two parts of a compound sentences.
Conjunctions for compound sentences are: and, or, but, yet.
Note: The comma may be omitted in very short compound sentences.

When the sun shines, I feel happy.

Use commas to separate dependent and independent clauses.
When the dependent clause begins the sentence, use a comma.

I feel happy when the sun shines.

When the independent clause begins the compound sentence, do not use a comma.

Tom saw, to his surprise, the dog and cat playing together.

Use commas to separate interruptions within a sentence.
Interruptions are separate words or phrases that break up the main thought of a sentence.

Question mark  ?

What is your name?
Do you live in Victoria?

Use a question mark at the end of a question.

Ahmet asked if I was hungry.

Don't use a question mark for reported speech.

Exclamation mark  !

I am very tired!

Use an exclamation mark to emphasize a statement.