A Look at Punctuation Marks etc.

A-Look-At-PunctuationPunctuation marks and special characters. Whether we write letters, poems or simply a note – we can’t do without them!

I have compiled a list of the most common punctuation marks and special characters in English and how they are used.

.Dot / Full Stop / Period
Decimal point
1.)To mark the end of a sentence. (Dot etc.)
2.) 0.75 (Decimal point)
,Comma1.) Indicates a short pause within the sentence and / or separates different sentence parts.
2.) To separate different items.
;SemicolonA semicolon is something between a comma and a full stop. It's used to separate two main clauses.
:ColonTo introduce lists, quotations.
?Question MarkAt the end of a question.
!Exclamation Mark1.) To express strong feeling.
2.) At the end of a command.
" "Double Quotation Mark1.) For quotations
2.) As scare quotations. (Scare quotations are used if the author wants to imply that he is sceptical or disagrees with the word / quote used.)
'Apostrophe / Single Quotation Mark1.) In contractions like he's. Here an apostrophe indicates where letters have been omitted.
2.) To show possession: Sarah's horse
Never EVER use it in a plural please!
-Hyphen / Minus SignUsed to separate the different parts of words, especially adjectives which are a combination of two words: "self-employed"

en-dash: –
em-dash: —
(Named after the length of the letter n or m respectively)
1.) Em-Dash: "A dash is a mark of separation stronger than a comma, less formal than a colon, and more relaxed than parentheses." (William Strunk, Jr, and E.B. White, The Elements of Style)
Do not confuse it with a hyphen!
2.) En-dashes are used to replace the word to e.g:
July 6–August 25
They can also be used in phone numbers.
/Forward Slash1.) To separate words, letters etc.
2.) In URLs.
\BackslashUsed mainly in computing.
( )Left / Right Round Bracket / Parenthesis1.) To enclose words in a sentence (which could have been omitted).
2.) For an aside remark: Simon left the country (and was never seen again).
[ ]Left / Right Square BracketUsed in quotations to signal that words have been added (mostly for clarification) by an editor.
"This year's budget deficit fell by 1 million [pounds]"
<"Less Than" Sign / Left Angle BracketUsed in mathematics and source codes like HTML or Java etc.
>"Greater Than" Sign / Right Angle BracketUsed in mathematics and source codes like HTML or Java etc.
+Plus1.) Used in mathematics.
2.) Can be used as an abbreviation for the word "and"
=EqualUsed in mathematics.
Used for example in company names, coll aborations etc.
@At Sign1.) In email adresses
2.) To address someone in online discussions: @Phil
%PercentTo indicate the percentage of an amount as a proportion of a hundred.
_Underscore1.) In computing
2.) In email adresses
°Degree1.) To indicate temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit: 15 °C, 80 °F
2.) To represent the degrees of an angle
*Asterisk1.) Used to add inforamtion in a foot- / endnote
2.) In lists
3.) To indicate that corrections have been made (for example a misspelled word)

You might also like: