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
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.
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?
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.
1.Used in compounds:
(a) Sometimes used to from a compound word from two other words:
(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:
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:
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.
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"?'
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’
(round) brackets; (round) parenthesis
1 full stop 2 point
ellipsis points; ellipsis dots
(square) brackets; (square) parenthesis
quotation marks; inverted commas