Introduction to Punctuation Marks

. Period
? Question Mark
, Comma
” “ Quotation Marks
! Exclamation Point
( ) Parentheses
: Colon
; Semicolon
[ ] Square Brackets
Ellipsis Points
/ Slash

What are punctuation marks?

Answer: Punctuation marks are symbols that are used to aid the clarity and comprehension of written language. Punctuation marks are symbols that are used in sentences and phrases to make the meaning clearer.

How many punctuation marks are in the  English language?

Answer: There are 14 punctuation marks that are commonly used in English grammar.

(Please see chart above )

Can you be an effective writer if you haven’t mastered learning to punctuate correctly?

Answer: No. Punctuation is a very important part of English grammar. Even though you may know all the parts of speech or how to form complete sentences, without punctuation, you can’t indicate when a sentence ends or correctly separate items in a list.

When we speak, we can pause or emphasize certain words and phrases to help people understand what we are saying. In our writing, we use punctuation to show pauses and emphasis. Becoming familiar with the basic punctuation marks in the English language will allow you to express yourself better in your writing. Punctuation marks will also make your sentences clearer and more understandable to the reader.

Excessive Punctuation

Excess of punctuation marks can lead to the creation of run-on sentences – sentences in which two or more independent clauses (i.e., complete sentences) are joined without appropriate punctuation or conjunction.


• Mark, ran to the park with his sneakers untied he wanted to purchase an ice cream cone before the food venders left for the day

Correct punctuation + conjunction:

Mark ran to the park with his sneakers untied because he wanted to purchase an ice cream cone, before the food venders left for the day.

Over the course of the next 14 weeks, dfoww will teach online writing workshops on each of the 14 most common punctuation marks used in the English language. These writing workshops will be published and made available in our Basic Rules of Grammar section on our website. 

Immediately following each workshop, dfoww will publish a worksheet to be completed by our participants. The purpose of these worksheets are to reinforce the basic rules of grammar workshops being taught, and to test your knowledge on the subject. The worksheets will be published in the worksheets section on our website. 

Welcome to our punctuation workshops!

– dfoww staff

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