یکشنبه 14 شهریور‌ماه سال 1389 ساعت 12:55 ب.ظ

Apostrophe ( ' )

1. Used with ‘s’ to indicate the possessive:

_  the dog’s bone            

_  king charles’s  crown    

_  all the student’s  books

2. Used in contracted forms to indicate that letters or figures have been omitted:

_  I’m (=I am)                 

_  he’s (= he is /has)           

_  the summer of’68 (= 1968)

3. Sometimes used with ‘s’ to from the plural of a letter, figures or an abbreviation:

_  pronounce the the  r’s more clearly 

_  all the mp’s

Colon (:)

1. Used after a term describing a group or class or a linking phrase (eg as follows, in the following manner) to introduce a list of items:

_ His consists of two books: the Bible and Shakespeare.

2. (fml) Used before a clause or phrase that illustrates or explains the main clause:

_ The garden had been neglected for a long time: It was overgrown and full of weeds.

Comma (,)

1. Used to separate the items in lists of words, phrases or clauses:

_ If you keep calm, take your time, concentrate and think ahead, you’ll pass your driving test.

2.Often used between an adverbial clause or long phrase and the main clause:

_ When the sun is shining and the birds are singing, the world seems a happier place.

3.Used after a non- finite or verbless clause at the beginning of a sentence:

 _ To be sure of getting there on time, she left an hour early.

4.Used to separate an introductory or a transitional word or phrase (eg therefore, however, by the way, for instance, on the contrary) from the rest of the sentence:

_ Oh, so that’s where it was!

5.Used before a dependent clause, etc that interrupts the sentence:

_ You should, indeed you must, report this matter to the police.

6.Used before and after a non-defining relative clause or a phrase in apposition, giving additional information about the noun it follows:

_ Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, was first climbed in 1953.

7. Used to separate a question tag or the similar word or phrase from the rest of the sentence:

_ It’s quite expensive, isn’t it?

_ You live in Isfahan, right?

Dash (_)

1.      (infml) Used instead of a colon or semicolon to mark off a summary or conclusion of what has gone before:

_ You’re admitted that you lied to me _how can I trust you again?

2.     (infml) Used singly or in pairs to separate extra information, an after though or a comment from the rest of  the sentence

_ He knew nothing at about it _ or so he said.

Exclamation mark (!)      (US also Exclamation point)

1. Used at the end of a sentence or remark expressing great anger, surprise, joy or other strong emotion:

_ What wonderful new!

_ ‘Never!’ she cried.

Full stop (.)      ( US  Period )

1.     Used to mark the end of a sentence that is not a direct question or an exclamation:

_ I knocked at the door. There was no reply.

2.Sometimes used, though not in most of dictionary, in abbreviations:

_ Jan; e.g.; a.m.

Hyphen (-)

1.Used in compounds:

(a)       Sometimes used to from a compound word from two other words:

_ radio-telescope

(b)Used to from a compound from a prefix and a proper name:

_ anti-Nazi; pro-soviet

(c)Used to from a compound from two other words that are separated by a preposition:

_ mother-in-law; mother-to-be

(d)Used to very the first element of a hyphenated compound:

_ Common to both pre-and post-war Europe.

(e)Used when writing out compound numbers between 21 and 99:

_ seventy-three

2.(esp Brit) Sometimes used to separate a prefix ending in a rowel from a word beginning with the same vowel:

_ re-elect, co-ordination

3.Used after the first section of a word that is divided between one line and the next:

_ ….. in order to avoid future mis-

takes of this kind.

4.Used between two numbers or dates to include everything that comes between these numbers or dates:

_ pp106-/3/

Parentheses ()     (Brit also Brackets)

1.Used to separate extra information or an afterthought or comment from the rest of the sentence:

_ Mount Robson (12972 feet) is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

2.Used to enclose cross-references:

_ This moral ambiguity is a feature of Shakespeare's later works (see chapter Eight)

Question mark (?)

1.Used at the end of a direct question:

_ Where’s the car?

_ You're leaving?

(Not used at the end of an indirect question: _ He asked if I was leaving.)

2.Used in parentheses to express doubt:

_ John Marston (?1575-1634)

Quotation marks ('  '     "   " )         (Brit also Inverted commas)

In British usage quotation marks are usually single: 'Help!'.

In US usage they are usually double: "Help!".

1. Used to enclose all words and punctuation in direct speech.

_ 'What on earth did you do that for?' he asked.

_ 'I won't go,' she replied.

_ 'Nonsense!'

2.     Used to draw attention to a term that is unusual in the context (eg a technical or slang expression) or one that is being used for special effect (eg irony):

_ Next the dough is 'proved' to allow the yeast to start working.

_ He told me in no uncertain terms to 'get lost'.

_ Thousands were imprisoned in the name of 'national security'.

3.     Used to enclose the title of article, short poems, radio and television programs, etc:

_ Keats's 'Ode to Autumn'

_ I was watching 'Match of the Day'.

4.     Used to enclose short quotations or sayings:

_ 'Do you know the origin of the saying "A little learning is a dangerous thing"?' 


Semicolon (;)

1.     Used instead of a comma to separate from each other parts of a sentence that already contain commas:

_ She wanted to be successful, whatever it might cost; to achieve her goal, whoever might suffer as a result.

2.(fml) Used to separate main clauses, especially those not joined by a conjunction:

_ He had never been to china; however, it had always been one of his ambitions.


Slash (/)     ( Brit also Oblique) (US  Virgule)

1.Used to separate alternative words or terms:

_ Take a mackintosh and/or an umbrella.

2.     Used to indicate the end of each line of poetry where several lines are run on:

_ Wordsworth’s famous lines, ‘I wandered lonely as cloud/That floats on high o’er vales and hills…’

Square brackests[]         (Us Brackest)

1.Used to enclose editorial comments:

_ A notice reading ‘Everything to be put away in it’s [sic] place after use’









exclamation mark











( )

(round) brackets; (round) parenthesis









1 full stop 2 point



ellipsis points; ellipsis dots



oblique; slash;









question mark


[ ]

(square) brackets; (square) parenthesis








quotation marks; inverted commas



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