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1: Master the Art of Using Punctuations: Enhance Your Writing Skill: Al-Zarar Educational

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473 punctuation (1): We decided not to go on holiday: we had too little money.

There was a problem with the car: it was losing oil.

full stop, question mark and exclamation
mark 2 lists

1 sentence division A colon can introduce a list.

Full stops (AmEperiods), question marks and exclamation marks The main points are as follows: (l) ... , (2) ... r (3) ....
We need three kinds of support: economic, moral and political.
exclamation points) are used to close sentences. After one of these, a
new 3 subdivisions
sentence has a capital letter. A colon can introduce a subdivision of a subject in a title or heading.

I looked out of the window. It was snowing again. punctuation: colon

Why do we try to reach the stars? What is it all for? 4 capitals

They have no right to be in our country! They must leave at once! In British English, it is unusual for a capital letter to follow a colon
(except at
We do not normally put full stops, question or exclamation marks
before or the beginning of a quotation). However, this can happen if a colon is
after grammatically incomplete sentences.
by several complete sentences.
She phoned me as soon as she arrived. (NOT She phoned me. As soon
as--stte My main objections are as follows:
arril:Jed.) First of all, no proper budget has been drawn up.
In his job he has to deal with different kinds of people. (NOT J1t hisjob. Secondly, there is no guarantee that ...
He has
In American English, colons are more often followed by capital
to deal with different kinds ojpeople.) letters.
Did you understand why I was upset? (NOT Did you understand? Why
J was
5 letters

~) Americans usually put a colon after the opening salutation (Dear ... )
in a
However, sometimes we can emphasise a clause or phrase by
separating it business letter.

with a full stop and capital letter. Dear Mr. Callan:

People are sleeping out on the streets. In Britain. In the 21st century. I am writing to ...
British usage prefers a comma or no punctuation mark at all in this
there are not enough houses. case.

2 abbreviations 6 direct speech

Full stops can be used after abbreviations (see 2). This is more Normally, direct speech is introduced by a comma in writing (see
common in 476.9).

American English than in British English. Stewart opened his eyes and said, 'Who's your beautiful friend?'

Dr. Andrew C. Burke, M.A. (OR Dr Andrew C Burke, MA) ~ But a long passage of direct speech may be introduced by a colon.

page 459 Introducing his report for the year, the Chairman said: 'A number of
punctuation (2): colon 474
have contributed to the firm's velY gratifying results. First of all, ... '
3 indirect questions
And a colon is used when direct speech is introduced by a name or
We do not use question marks after indirect questions (see 276). short

I asked her what time it was. (NOT ... what time it was?) phrase (as in the text of a play, or when famous sayings are quoted).

What do you read, my lord?

474 punctuation (2): colon POLONIUS:

HAMLET: Words, words, words.

1 explanations
In the words of Murphy's Law: 'Anything that can go wrong will go
A colon (:) usually introduces an explanation or further details. wrong.'

Courtesy: Practical English Grammar by Michael Swan. All rights reserved by Oxford
University Press, LONDON.
2: Master the Art of Using Punctuations: Enhance Your Writing Skill: Al-Zarar Educational
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page 460 Come and see me if you are ever in London.

punctuation (4): comma 476 Commas are not used before that-clauses.

475 punctuation (3): semi- It is quite natural that you should want to meet your father. (NOT It is
7utturttl, thttt ... )

1 instead of full stops

3 grammatically separate
Semi-colons (;) are sometimes used instead of full stops, in cases sentences: commas not used
We do not usually put commas between grammatically separate
sentences are grammatically independent but the meaning is closely sentences (in

connected. Semi-colons are not nearly as common as full stops or places where a full stop or a semi-colon would be possible - see 473
commas. and 475).

Some people work best in the mornings; others do better in the The blue dress was warmer. On the other hand, the purple one was
evenings. prettier.

It is a fine idea; let us hope that it is going to work. OR The blue dress was warmer; on the other hand ... (NOT The blue
Commas are not usually possible in cases like these (see 476).
wets wetr711er, IJn the IJther httnd ... ) ~
2 in lists
page 461
Semi-colons can also be used to separate items in a list, particularly
when 4 unusual word order

these are grammatically complex. punctuation (4): comma 476

You may use the sports facilities on condition that your subscription
If words or expressions are put in unusual places or interrupt the
is paid
regularly; that you arrange for all necessary cleaning to be carried
progression of a sentence, we usually separate them off by commas.
out; that
My father, however, did not agree.
you undertake to make good any damage; ...
lane had, surprisingly, paid for everything.
For commas in lists, see 476.

We were, believe it or not, in love with each other.

476 punctuation (4): comma
Andrew Carpenter, the deputy sales manager, was sick.
Commas C) generally reflect pauses in speech.
Two commas are necessary in these cases.
1 co-ordinate clauses
(NOT Andrew Carpenter #le deputy sales manager, was sick ... )
Clauses connected with and, but or or are usually separated by
commas unless 5 adjectives

they are very short. Compare: After be and other 'link verbs' (see 328), commas are always used
- lane decided to try the home-made steak pie, and Andrew ordered
Dover sole adjectives.

with boiled potatoes. The cowboy was tall, dark and handsome.

lane had pie and Andrew had fish. Before a noun, we generally use commas between adjectives which
- She had very little to live on, but she would never have dreamed of
taking similar kinds of information.

what was not hers. This is an expensive, ill-planned, wasteful project.

She was poor but she was honest. Commas are sometimes dropped between short adjectives.

a tall(,) darkt.) handsome cowboy

2 subordinate clauses
Commas cannot be dropped when adjectives or other modifiers refer
When subordinate clauses begin sentences, they are often followed
different parts of something.
commas. Compare:
a green, red and gold carpet (NOT a green red ... )
If you are ever in London, come and see me.

Courtesy: Practical English Grammar by Michael Swan. All rights reserved by Oxford
University Press, LONDON.
3: Master the Art of Using Punctuations: Enhance Your Writing Skill: Al-Zarar Educational
Complex Toghi Road Quetta, Pakistan:

concrete, glass and plastic buildings the meaning of life.

Commas are not normally used before a noun when adjectives give For semi-colons in lists, see 475.
9 direct speech
kinds of information.
A comma is generally used between a reporting expression and a
Have you met our handsome new financial director? (NOT ... --ffl:tF piece of

hanl'isome, new, financial director?) direct speech.

6 identifying expressions: commas He said, 'There's no way we can help her'.

not used If a reporting expression follows a piece of direct speech, we usually
put a
When nouns are followed by identifying expressions which show
exactly who comma instead of a full stop before the closing quotation mark.

or what is being talked about, commas are not used. Compare: 'I don't like this one bit,' said ]ulia.

- The driver in the Ferrari was cornering superbly. (The phrase in

10 indirect speech: no comma
the Ferrari
before that etc
identifies the driver.)
We do not put commas before that, what, where etc in indirect speech
(NOT The drilfer, in the Perrari, was cernering superbly OR 'Fhe drifjer
in the structures.

Ferrari, was cernering superbly.) Euerybody realised that I was a foreigner. (NOT Evel}'b{j(iy rettlised,
that )
Step hens, in the Ferrari, was cornering superbly. (The phrase in the
Ferrari They quickly explained what to do. (NOT They quickly explained,
what )
does not identify the driver; he is already identified by his name,
I didn't know where I should go. (NOT r didn't know, where ... )

- The woman who was talking on the phone gave Parker a big smile.
11 numbers

Mrs Grange, who was talking on the phone, gave Parker a big smile. Commas are used to divide large numbers into groups of three
figures, by
For more about identifying and non-identifying relative clauses, see
495. separating off the thousands and millions.

6,435 (NOT &:485) 7,456,189

7 long subjects: commas not used
We do not always use commas in four-figure numbers, and they are
We do not usually put a comma after a subject, even if it is very long. never

The man from the Japanese Ministry of Education arrived early. used in dates.

(NOT The man tram the }ttpanese A1instry (Tt Education, arritH!d 3,164 OR 3164 the year 1946
Spaces are sometimes used instead of commas.
What we need most of all is more time. (NOT V/hat we need mast ofall,
is ... ) There are 1 000 millimetres in one metre.

page 462 We do not use commas in decimals (see 389.1).

punctuation (5): dash 477 3.5 = three point five OR three and a half (NOT 3,5 three comma five)

8 lists 477 punctuation (5): dash

We can use commas to separate items in a series or list. A comma is Dashes H are especially common in informal writing. They can be
not used in the

usually used with and between the last two items unless these are same way as colons, semi-colons or brackets.
There are three things I can never remember - names, faces, and I've
forgotten the other.
I went to Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany.
We had a great time in Greece - the kids really loved it.
You had a holiday at Christmas, at New Year and at Easter.
My mother - who rarely gets angry - really lost her temper. ~
I spent yesterday playing cricket, listening to jazz records, and
talking about page 463

Courtesy: Practical English Grammar by Michael Swan. All rights reserved by Oxford
University Press, LONDON.
4: Master the Art of Using Punctuations: Enhance Your Writing Skill: Al-Zarar Educational
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punctuation (6): quotation marks 478 Whose house did she stay in? (NOT Whff.y- ... )

A dash can introduce an afterthought, or something unexpected and 3 special plurals

surprising. Words which do not usually have plurals sometimes have an
apostrophe when
We'll be arriving on Monday morning - at least, I think so.
a plural form is written.
And then we met Bob - with Lisa, believe it or not!

For the use of hyphens (as in hard-working or co-operative), see 559.

It is a nice idea, but there are a lot of if's.

page 464
478 punctuation (6): quotation
marks questions (1): basic rules 480

Apostrophes are used in the plurals of letters, and sometimes of

Quotation marks can be single C .. .') or double ("... "). They are also numbers and
'inverted commas' in British English.
He writes b's instead of d's.
1 direct speech
It was in the early 1960's. (More usually: ... 1960s.)
We use quotation marks (single or double) when we quote direct
speech. For I know two MP's personally. (More usually: ... MPs.)

quotations inside quotations, we use double quotation marks inside It is not correct to put apostrophes in normal plurals.
single (or

single inside double).

'His last words,' said Albert, 'were "Close that bloody window".'
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2 special use of words
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People disagree about how to use the word 'disinterested'.

His next book was 'Heart of Darkness'.

A textbook can be a 'wall' between the teacher and the class.

479 punctuation (7):

apostrophe /a'pnstrafi:/
We use apostrophes C) for three main reasons.

1 missing letters
Apostrophes replace letters in contracted forms (see 143).

can't (= cannot) I'd (= I would/had)

it's (= it is/has) who's (= who is/has)

2 possessives
We use apostrophes before or after possessive -S (see 439).

the girl's father Charles's wife my parents' house

Possessive determiners and pronouns (e.g.yours, its) do not have


This money is yours. (NOT ... ~)

The cat had not had its food yet. (NOT ... it's food ... )

Courtesy: Practical English Grammar by Michael Swan. All rights reserved by Oxford
University Press, LONDON.