Importance of punctuation in English writings:

Abstract:

Some people might believe that learning English punctuations is a waste of time whilst using punctuations in English writings is what makes the writing meaningful. By using punctuations, the writer eases reading for the audience. Punctuations tell readers where to pause, where they should stop, where they need to read a quotation and where to ask a question. Punctuations tell how the tone of the reader should be. It also makes the context easier to understand. Therefore, in this article we are going to prove you that punctuation is worth learning because without them, English is hard to comprehend.

Punctuation is crucial in English writings because it conveys meaning and clarifies the point of the writer. Misusing these simple marks can lead do misunderstanding in readers by causing big changes in the meaning of sentences. In the following context, we are going to explain the usage of different punctuation marks to show how essential they are.

Commas:

the most important punctuation mark can be comma, since omitting it or using it improperly can lead to confusing mistakes and hilarious consequences. For instance, pay attention to these sentences:

Let’s eat Joe.
Let’s eat, Joe.

The writer is asking Joe to join him/her for eating but in the first sentence, without using commas, it seems like the writer is suggesting others to eat Joe as a meal! In some sentences, adding or not adding commas makes the sentence meaning, opposite. For instance, there are two signs that might be seen in the street, the “no U turn” sign and the “no, U turn” sign. These sentences have opposite meanings whilst they are made of the very same words with the very same order. The first one says that cars are not allowed to make U turns whilst the second one says that cars must make U turns!
The other usage of commas is when a writer wants to separate something from the context that has been directly identified in that writing. For instance, a writer should write “ my second aunt, Maria, is going to pay us a visit at the weekend.”

Oxford comma:

oxford comma does not usually change the meaning of a sentence but it is suggested to be used. The usage of oxford comma in English writings is after a list of some items that is made of three or more than three things. For example, you can write “I like orange, kiwi, apple, and banana.”

Quotation marks:

quotation marks have two different usages. The first usage, which is quite common, is when you want to write quotations from books or people. The other usage is when the writer disapproves something. It is like when people are speaking and show quotations in order to show that they disagree with something. For instance, when an English writer writes “he is a ‘professional’ writer”, he/she is insulting that person and showing his/her disapproval to others.

Hyphens:

hyphens are often misused in English too. Their usage is also so important since the place of them and the way that they are used can change the meaning of the whole sentence. Take these two sentences as example:
There is a forty-eight hour shift for you.
There are forty eight-hour shifts for you.

in the first sentence, the writer, who is probably the boss, is saying that the person who reads this sentence is going to have a shift, forty-eight hours long whilst the second sentence is offering forty shifts, each of which last eight hours. Another example would be:

There are men eating dogs here.
There are man-eating dogs here.

The first sentence conveys the meaning that some men have gathered together and they are having dogs as their meal, while the second sentence conveys the quite opposite meaning and says that at that place, some dogs exist that can eat people.

Spacing:

in English writings, writers need to use one space after each punctuation except for hyphened words. It is wrong to use space before or after hyphened words.

Period:

English learners might think that periods are so easy to learn and they do not have any especial points; but there are some points that should be taken under consideration by English writers. For instance, when a sentence finishes in a period, writers cannot add another period to the sentence. Another point is, period should be used after indirect questions. For example, my mom asked where her mobile phone was.

Ellipses:

ellipses are used for making a quote shorten than what it actually is. For instance, “a hundred years ago…”
Semicolons: semicolons are commas that have a period above them. Semicolons are stronger forms of commas, by other means, they are used when the writer wants a pause which is longer that when he/she uses a coma. It can be said that semicolons are used between two strong clauses in one sentence. For instance,” text me tomorrow, I will tell you what happened.”

Colons:

colons are used for ending a sentence that is going to be continued by a list of words. colons are also used in order to introduce a long quote.

Question marks:

as obvious, question marks are used after a question. The point often overlooked is, writers are not allowed to use question marks to end indirect questions in English writings. Pay attention to the examples:
Are you following me?
I asked if you were following me.

Exclamation mark:

exclamation marks should be used with the goal of using surprise or emphasis and the point about them is that writers are not allowed to use this mark in formal English writings.
In brief, it can be said that quotation marks are vital in English writings because without them, the written piece will be confusing and this can lead to many bad happenings. For example, the audience may get offended or the reader stops reading because she/she cannot understand the point of the writer.

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