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14 Punctuation in English, most useful while writing a blog post

You know very well that how grammar and spelling are important for writing a blog, e-book or an email. Moreover, you may have gotten in trouble in school for starting a sentence with “and” or “but,” it is grammatically correct but informal.

See how we use Punctuation in English while writing a blog. These punctuation are not only about blog writing, you can use it anywhere in English writing.

Table of content:
1. Use of Capital letters
2. Use of Apostrophe (')
3. Use of Hyphen (-)
4. Use of Dash (—)
5. Use of Full Stop (.)
6. Use of Question Mark (?)
7. Use of Exclamation Mark (!)
8. Use of Comma (,)
9. Use of Semi-colon (;)
10. Use of Colon (:)
11. Use of Inverted Commas ("..")
12. Use of Brackets [..], Braces {..} and Parentheses (..)
13. Use of Ellipsis (*)
14. Use of Slash (/)

Punctuation in English
Punctuation in English

Before that, Why we need to avoid grammatical mistake while writing a blog post? There are many reasons in support:

1. You are slowing down your reader: Your mistake acts like speed breaker, when a reader notices an error in your blog post, it makes slow them to read full post.

2. Meaning of your post: A polished post sure sounds a lot better than ordinary one. Readers may confuse if your post contains grammatical errors. If you want that the reader adherence your blog post, make sure your words and the meaning of sentence are easy to understand.

3. You could miss brand identity: If your blog posts are grammatically good, no one can deny that you are a good writer. Your writing style can creates the difference between mediocre and extraordinary work. Do you know? Other people's grammar errors has come to be favorite internet pastime.
Although, search engines like google putting error free post in their top ranking.

4. Get more people to read your blog: For making a sharp impact on your readers, you have to write, use powerful words with correct grammar. Always remember that you can inspire your readers to take an action by your words.

Punctuation in blog writing

The units of written language in English are the word, the sentence and the paragraph. The boundaries of a word are marked by a space, those of a sentence by a capital letter at the beginning and a full stop (or period), a question mark at the end, and those of a paragraph by indentation (set back from the margin) at the start. The other punctuation marks are used within the sentence. The units they separate are not as prominent as the above three.

To make easy to understand, here I'm categorizing punctuation in two type:
  1. Word punctuation
  2. Sentence punctuation
As you going to write blog post, be sure to avoid these most common punctuation mistakes: So, let's start one by one.

A. Word punctuation

1. Use of Capital Letters

The first letter of a word is capitalized when:

(a). it begins a sentence. Example: She is my mother. Use of punctuation etc.

(b). it is a proper noun or part of a proper noun. Example: Ram, New Delhi, United States of America etc.

(c). it is the name of a day, month, festival or a holiday. Example: Tuesday, July, Christmas etc.

(d). it is a title (or part of a title) of a book, magazine, newspaper or a work of art. Example: War and Peace, India Today, Punctuation in English etc.

(e). it is the title of a person. Example: the prime Minister, the Mayor of Mumbai, the Queen of England.

(f). it is an adjective derived from a proper noun. Example: Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Chinese etc.

(g). it is a title prefixed or suffixed to a proper noun. Example: Professor Albert Einstein, Dr. Agarwal, Professor of English.

(h). it is a noun or pronoun standing for God. Example: the Lord, Allah.

(i). it is the pronoun I and the interjection. Example: Ram will go Lucknow and I to Delhi. Mother O my mother!

(j). the first letter of first word of each line is written with capital letter. Example: Twinkile twinkile little star. How I wonder what you are?

(k) if you are using the first letter of the abbreviated words, every letter should be a capital. Example: BBC - British Broadcasting Corporation, BWB - Blogging with Blogger etc.

(l). large words in the titles should be capitalized, while small words (a, an, the, but, and, if, as, or, nor, to name a few) should not be capitalized unless the words are on the first or last position in the title. Example: A Life Less Ordinary, Blogging with Bloggers, War of the Worlds etc.

Capital letters are not used with:

(a). names of subjects unless they occur as part of title or proper name.Example: economics, history etc. But professor of History, Delhi School of Economics etc.

(b). names of directions. Example: north, south unless they are used in specific ways to denote a geographical region, a political or economic entity. Example: Birds fly South in winter, North is rich etc.

(c). grammatical words like articles, conjunctions and prepositions are not capitalized.

Knowledge Point: Capital words are use to shout on Internet. Example: M.r pall says CAME here. (Here the word came is shouted).

(2) The Apostrophe (')

Apostrophe is used:

(a). to show the possessive case of nouns and indefinite pronouns. Example: Gopal's factory, someone's house, people's ideas, children's books etc.

(b). if the singular of a word ends in 's' use the apostrophe followed by s unless the pronunciation becomes difficult. Example: Keats' poem, James' house, but Moses' journey.

(c). if the word is a plural ending in 's' only the apostrophe is used. Example: The workers' complaint, the boy's work etc.

(d). if the last word is affected when the possessive is added to compounds. Example: my father-in-law's house, someone else' pen.

(e). to show the omission of a letter. Example: isn't, can't, won't, o'clock, (it's = it is).

Attention: The personal pronouns his, hers, its, yours, theirs and whose do not require an apostrophe.

(3) The Hyphen (-)

Hyphen is used:

(a). Words functioning as an adjective before a noun are joined by hyphen. Example: a little-known author (also well-known) but the author was little known.

(b). Compound numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine are written with a hyphen. Example: thirty-six, ninety-eight, one-third, three-fifths etc.

(c). Prefixes ex-, self-, all are separated by a hyphen (but not co-, anti-, over-, etc.) Example: ex-principal, self-important, all-party conference (but cooperative, antinational, overburdened)

(d). it divides a word into syllables (e.g. tar-get or bul-lock) when you reach the end of a line in writing or typing and the whole word cannot be fitted in.

(e). if joins together two or more words (e.g. forty-five, mother-in-law, wild-goose) to form a single compound word or expression. (But notice that compound words like headmaster, classroom, tablecloth, etc. are not hyphenated.)

(f). if a phrase has to be used as an adjective or a noun. Example: contained', 'a etc.

(g). to clarifying the meaning of an expression. Example: 'walking stick' means a stick that walks, but walking-stick means a stick used as a help in walking.

(4) The Dash (—)

It is used to suggest an abrupt prevent or change of thought or to resume a scattered subject. Example: Friends, relatives, companions—all deserted him. Read more about Dash.

Punctuation in English
Punctuation in English
That's all for word punctuation.

B. Sentence punctuation

(5) The Full Stop (.)

(a). It represents the greatest pause and separation. It is used to mark the end of a declarative (statement), or an imperative sentence. Example: Agra is on the banks of the river Yamuna. Go and read in the library.

(b). A full stop can be used in abbreviations, However, they are often omitted in modern styles. Example: M.A. or MA, U.N.O. or UNO

(6) The Question Mark (?)

It is used, instead of the full stop, after a direct question. Example: have you written your exercise?

(7) The Exclamation Mark (!)

It is used after interjections and after phrases and sentences, expressing surprising emotion or wish. Example: Alas! Oh dear!

(8) The Comma (,)

(a). Commas are used to separate a non defining relative clause from the rest of the sentence (A defining clause isn't separated in this way). Example: It is year since I read Sons and Lovers, which is my favorite novel, but what was that novel you were reading yesterday.

(b). When a subordinate clause of any sort comes before the principal clause, we separate it with a comma. Example: When you are ready, we shall go. If you can't understand, tell me.

(c). Commas are used to separate off the following from the rest of the sentence:
  • Absolute construction. Example: Dinner over, they rose to go back to the sitting-room.
  • Phrases in apposition. Example: Mr. James, the Mayor of Casterbridge said...
(d). Adjectival phrases made with participles when they are non-defining. Example: The speaker, getting to his feet, began to.....

(e). Commas are used in lists of all sorts. Example: I shall need a hammer, a saw, some nails, and a piece of wood.

Except where the words are arranged in pairs joined by and or or; Example: We wash our hands with soap and water. By car or bus, by rail or air, they all came to the capital to see the coronation.

(f). These words are usually enclosed in commas if they come in the middle or at the end of a sentence. Example: too, however, nevertheless, though, of course, then

(g). If adverbs or adverbial expressions are placed in an unusual position in the sentence they are enclosed in commas. Example: His brother has, since his wedding, not been seen at the club.

(h). Other adverbs which qualify the whole sentence. Example: He has, oddly enough, never spoken about it again = He has never spoken about it again, which is very odd.

(i). Commas are used between words, dates or phrases that form single, similar units (example: 'You could, you can and you will, do it!). before words that go into quotation marks (example: Ram said, 'I like it'). When a quotation is split in two and a clause like said Ram is inserted in between commas are used before and after the clause (Example: I like it, said Meera because_ _ _).

(9) The Semi-colon (;)

(a). The semi-colon is a lesser stop than the full-stop. It is used between grammatically complete sentences and is not followed by a capital letter. It is often found before such connective words as : and, but, or; Example: He also told me about his aunt; but that is another story.

(b). If it is used to separate sentences which are closely connected in thought, where a full stop would be too complete a break; Example: The team is going for a cricket match; captain carries the bat; coach, the toss card; and the players, the rest of the things.

(c) It is used in place of a comma, to separate two main clauses if commas have already been used within the clauses; e.g. Our teacher was a simple, modest, unassuming person; but we all respected him.

(10) The Colon (:)

The colon is used to introduce : 

(a). a list e.g. These are the things we shall need : a flask of coffee, some sandwiches and some fruit.

(b). an explanation. Example - The reason he gave was this : he had not properly understood the instruction.

(c). an amplification. Example - You must consult a good blogger : such as Anish and Harsh.

(d). It is used to separate two main clauses, when the second clause explains or elaborates the first; Example - He knew what the answer would be : he would have to stay until he had taken his job.

(11) Inverted Commas ("....")

(a). Inverted commas are used to enclose the exactly same words of a speaker, or a quotation; Example: Babar is said by Elphinstone to have been "the most admirable prince that ever reigned in Asia."

(b). If a quotation occurs within a quotation, it is marked by a single inverted comma.

(c). The actual words of Direct Speech are a sentence and must be punctuated as such, with capital letters, commas, question and exclamation marks. Example: He said, "Why did you do that, when I would d told you not to?"

(d). The introductory words, such as she said, he asked, cried John whether at the end, middle or beginning of the sentence must be separated from the actual words spoken by commas if no other stop is used. Example: "Where did they go ?" he asked. "Follow me !" cried their leader.

(e). The actual words of direct speech are enclosed in inverted commas including all the necessary punctuation marks described in the words of each fresh speaker should start a new paragraph. Example: "Are you sure ?”

Punctuation in English
Punctuation in English

That's all for Sentence punctuation. Read below some other types of Punctuation in English.

12. Brackets, Braces and Parentheses

Brackets [...], braces {...}, and parentheses (...) are symbols used to contain words that are a further explanation to clarify meaning or to grouping the words. If you take away the information inside the brackets, the sentence will nonetheless make sense. Example: She [Ms. Rita] was came here for food.

13. The Ellipsis (*)

The ellipsis is used in writing or printing to suggest an omission, in particular of letters or words. Ellipses are frequently used inside quotations to jump from one word to another, omitting pointless words that don't intrude with the meaning.

Example: BWB* is a website for blogger.

* Blogging with Blogger.

14. Slash (/)

Slash are used to indicate dates (12/08/2020) or to separate lines of poetry ("Ram, Sita/ Krishna, Radha"), it has few defensible uses.

Instead of writing the novelist/poet Shakespeare, make it the novelist-poet Shakespeare. Rather than to be had to any man/woman who is qualified, make it any man and women.

The slash is a handy tool for taking notes and writing rough outlines. Substituting b/c for because, y/o for years old, and  w/o for without; this can save your valuable time and space.

However, most slashes can and should be removed from your final post. You should replace a construction like any man/woman with any man or woman in final post.

Error free blog post is not only about punctuation related mistakes, but much more than that. You have to avoid such mistakes at all costs, after reading this post you can conclude how to use punctuation in sentences. Sentence construction is something that requires time and effort to learn, keep reading and practicing. You need to pay attention to how strong writers arrange different types of words in the form of one sentence.

I'm a blogger, have little knowledge on such grammatical things. Don't forget to suggest in comment box! Have a great day ahead.

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