How To Puntucate Letters and Essays

Letters and Essays

Punctuation Matters

It is very essential in language for the readers to clearly understand what is going on in a sentence and what the writer has been trying to present. Many of the people do not take this case much seriously but it really does matters, because it not only provides clarity in reading but also makes the whole sentence look beautiful, organized and neat. Dots and dashes attract many readers so in order to gain complete understanding of grammar you must follow the principles behind the basic punctuation marks. This would help you to use some of those in your own writing as well. With all these goals in your mind, the most commonly used punctuation marks are full stops, a comma, exclamation mark, question mark, colon, semi colon, dashes and quotation mark.

Punctuation tells the reader where to pause or where the sentence ends, and about the tone in the written language. Any sentence can be read easily with the help of the punctuation marks. All these types of punctuation marks must be understood by every beginner along with an appropriate explanation and examples in sentences. Punctuation marks can be used in short sentences as well as long and paragraph type sentences. They may take form of letters and essays as well. So before discussing every punctuation mark in detail, we need to learn about what is a sentence. A sentence is like a building made up of blocks which are the words. A group of words joined together make up an entire sentence and then it is these punctuations marks that gives meaning to those sentences, it tells where a particular sentence is finishing or what does it mean anyway. Moreover, a sentence consists of two items, a subject and a predicate. The subject is always a noun and a predicate refers to the verb. Using the right punctuation at the right time improves writing skills also.

Types of Punctuation Marks

There are around fourteen punctuation marks found in the English grammar and every guidance-giver will start his explanation with the period/a full stop. Every mark has its own unique specification and function in the grammar but a period, an exclamation mark and a question mark are such marks that can play a same role and that is to end up a sentence. They are the marks for ending the sentence or sentences. For example you are trying to inform a news or convey a message to a number of people and you use a full stop at the end of the sentence, that means whatever you were trying to tell has been explained and the sentence demands to be stopped right here. Other than this, when you are in a situation of gaining some knowledge or wanting to know the answer for any question then we make use of a direct question mark and the sentence ends. Then we have an exclamation mark, which is being used when a person has to exaggerate his/her statement or to catch an audience. It is used to express a sudden outcry and it demands emphasis on the sentence.

Examples of Period, Question Mark and Exclamation Marks

Period: ( . )

  1. I am going out for dinner.
  2. She is feeling lazy.
  3. My brother is very moody.
  4. Anger must be controlled by every human being.
  5. Some people are worth knowing.

Question Marks: ( ? )

  1. Do you like cupcakes?
  2. Do you want to watch a movie?
  3. Did you just smile at me?
  4. Where are you heading to?
  5. Would you still talk to me?

Exclamation Mark: ( ! )

  1. My mother-in-law’s behaviour makes me furious!
  2. You have done a great job!
  3. Keep the very good up!
  4. I cannot believe this!

Colon, Semicolon and a Comma

A comma generally is being used to make a pause in a sentence. In other words, it breaks up a sentence and then continues the remaining sentence after the use of comma. In such case the reader reading the sentence would take a pause at that point which would cause a shift in the tone of the voice and then would continue. For example:

Comma ( , ) :

A comma is used to represent the breaking up of words in a complete structure of a sentence. One comma can make a difference. There may be more than one commas in one sentence. Some sentences make use of commas that interrupts the readers in reading. For example:-

  1. I was playing a game with my friend, and then she had to go back.
  2. I like the colors black, red, grey and peach.
  3. We had chips, cold drink, chocolates and chewing gums.
  4. I am, by the way, very choosy in a few cases.
  5. Have a good day, Captain.

Additionally commas are also used in letter writing and essay writing after the salutation or ending. In letters we would use a comma in the end when closing your letter like : Your’s Sincerely, or in the beginning of the letter like : Dear Uncle Harry,

Colon ( : ) and Semi Colon ( ; ) :

These both are a different type of marks in punctuation. A colon is used in business letters or test papers or anywhere in a sentence. It is being used to separate out the hour and the minute like 12: 30 a.m. In another place where a colon is being used is when you introduce something like an example or a quotation. A semicolon on the other hand joins together two independent clauses. Particularly in essays, the essay writers make use of a number of quotations which are followed by colons and semicolons.

Examples of Colon and Semicolon

  1. I knew who would win this task: The Ninja fighters.
  2. My sister wants to visit three places: Paris, Turkey and Florida.
  3. He said: “He will take her out”
  4. These are my hot favorite colors: peach, black, red and grey.
  5. These are the three books that I would like to recommend you: Never Never, Losing Hope and Gabriel’s Inferno.
  6. I am becoming an old woman; my hair gets thinner and thinner.
  7. You should stop eating junk food; it is not really good for your health.
  8. You need to get new glasses; otherwise your eyesight would get worsen.
  9. I have finished making the main deal; now just the dessert is left to make.
  10. I will reach at the stadium as soon as possible; that is one promise I will not forget.

Additional Tips

With the use of these basic punctuation marks, your essay can flow very smoothly and the reader may enjoy reading your essay or letter to the fullest. The person who receives your letter would be excited as well as very comfortable reading your organized writing. Last but not the least, another rule needs to be mentioned here is that capitalize every first word of a sentence, do not keep it in small letters because in that case your writing seems unorganized and not appropriate. Always make sure that your references are clear and try not to use comma before the word ‘and’. Official letters and authorized essays avoid using the abbreviations like i.e, e.g, etc. Instead ‘for example’, ‘that is’ and ‘such that’ maybe used. Make sure question marks are used as little as possible and try to explain your statements rather than asking questions.