14 English Punctuation Marks Every Writer Must Know

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<strong>14 English Punctuation Marks Every Writer Must Know</strong> March 18, 2019

Writing high-quality content is undeniably a herculean task for newbies. Crafting a well-written piece of text certainly demands excellent writing and research skills. Besides, familiarity with grammar rules is also essential to maintain flawlessness in your writing to make it engaging for the readers. A lack of understanding of grammar rules and improper vocabulary will make it challenging for you to craft engaging content. 

Punctuation is certainly a crucial part of grammar. Learning about punctuation marks is inevitable for individuals who want to improve their writing skills and impress their readers with engaging content. If you are also one of those individuals who wish to learn about punctuation marks, this blog post is mainly for you. 

This blog post will discuss the top 14 punctuation marks that every writer must know. We will also guide you on how to use them effectively in your writing. Before we get started, let’s learn why punctuation is so important.

Why Punctuation Marks are Crucial to Learn? 

Punctuation provides writers with a chance to emphasize their writing. Adding punctuation to your writing will fill it up with adequate intonation. You can use English punctuation marks in your writing to pause, emphasize, or question by adding a comma, period, or a question mark. This will undeniably improve the readability of your text and help readers understand when to pause, stop, or emphasize a particular portion of the text. 

But, the appropriate use of punctuation marks in writing is still a challenging task. Many writers, even professional ones, also need help appropriately using English punctuation marks. If you also face the same issue, you are in the right spot. We will shed light on the most used types of punctuation marks and their appropriate use in sentences. So, let’s unveil them without any further ado!  

14 Most Common Punctuation Marks with Examples  

The most commonly used punctuation marks that every professional writer must know are shared below.  

1. Period (.) 

This is the most common punctuation mark used in English writing. This punctuation mark is also known as a full stop. Periods are mainly used at the end of sentences and are considered a sign that a sentence is completed. 

The examples of a period in a sentence are shared below.  

  • I am going outside. 

Periods are also used to add abbreviations, like in names or titles.

The information shared below will help you learn about it.  

  • Mr. Khan is our Science teacher. 
  • Mrs. K. White complained about you. 

2. Question Mark (?) 

This is another commonly used punctuation mark to end a sentence. This punctuation symbol denotes that the sentence is a direct question. The question sentences mostly start with how, when, where, who, and what. 

Below is an example of adequately adding a question mark to a sentence.  

  • What is your name?
  • What is the title of this essay? 

Typically, a question mark also depicts a shift in tone in a sentence and majorly being read aloud. That’s why you need to concentrate on the tone as well.  

3. Exclamation Point (!) 

An exclamation point, mostly known as an exclamation mark, is mainly used at the end of any sentence. This mark is preferably used in a sentence to convey an intense emotion. The expression can help writers share emotions such as excitement, disgust, anger, joy, or anything else. The exclamation point is also used to put stress on a sentence. 

An example of an exclamation mark is stated below. 

  • “Come back tomorrow! she said.
  • I am looking forward to hearing from you soon! 

4. Comma (,) 

The comma is another essential and highly used punctuation mark added to a sentence to insert a pause. Many reasons are there to add a pause in a sentence, like separating ideas, sharing a piece of new information, or even changing the structure of the sentence. 

Commas are used in different ways. A few of them are discussed below.  

Direct address: Thank you for giving me a favour, Rob.

Separating two complete sentences: He likes to swim, but football is his favourite sport.

Listing items in a sentence: I like reading, watching movies, and browsing the web. 

5. Colon (:) 

Colons are mainly used for two major purposes. We will jot down all of them to help you learn about them easily. 

  • Colon is used to introduce an idea, example, or quotation. 


 He plans to visit three countries: Japan, China, and Germany.  

  • The colons connect two sentences, especially if the second one clarifies the first.


I don’t think I will talk to her again: I have already discussed the matter. 

6. Semicolon (;) 

Semicolons are another common punctuation mark that links two independent clauses to define a strong relationship between them.  

For example, 

I suffer from a high fever; I may not come to school today.  

Certainly, both clauses are independent enough to explain the idea, but adding a semicolon instead of inserting a period shows that both clauses are connected.  

Semicolons are also used in listing items. Here’s how: 

I have visited Rio, Brazil; Athens, Greece; and Madrid, Spain.  

7. Dash (

Dash is a pronunciation mark that has two types. Both of these types vary in size and use.

En Dash: This type of Dash is shorter and mainly used to define a range between numbers or dates. 


I worked in this company from 2006-2008. 

He took the Chicago-New York flight.  

Em Dash: Compared to En-Dash, it has a longer length and is preferably used instead of other English punctuation marks, like commas, colons, or parentheses.  

Here’s an example: 

His answer was clear — Yes! 

8. Hyphen (-)

Many people often confuse it with Dash. However, it is an entirely different punctuation mark. A hyphen is used to connect two or more words. 

Below are a few examples of Hyphen:

  • Super-friendly
  • Step-by-step
  • Brother-in-law

9. Brackets ([ ]) 

Brackets are mainly used to simplify something, such as technical terms or explanations. People also use brackets to clarify a subject when quoting another person or text. 


He [Mr. Singh] disapproved of our terms and conditions.

Sara said that “[Physics] is her favourite subject.” 

10. Braces ({ }) 

Braces are not commonly used punctuation marks except in technical writing or mathematical formulas. But, it is important to learn about them to avoid using them instead of brackets. 

Here is an example of using braces:


11. Parentheses (( ))

A parenthesis is a punctuation mark used to supply additional information or as an aside. This punctuation symbol can be replaced with commas without affecting the sentence’s meaning. 

Here’s an example:

Sam (my brother) loves to play soccer. 

12. Apostrophe (‘)

Apostrophes are used to display that a letter or letters have been omitted. This punctuation mark is also meant to indicate possessiveness or contradictions. The Apostrophes are also used to pluralize lowercase letters. 

Here are some examples of Apostrophes:  

I’ve been living in this room for the last 6 years.

Sara’s brother had an accident yesterday.

I have put your pen in Shaw’s bag.  

13. Quotation Marks (“) 

Quotation marks are another punctuation symbol used to specify text, speech, or words of other writers or speakers. This punctuation mark also indicates dialogue.   

“Life is too short to live,” said Abraham. 

He told me that he “doesn’t like eating meat.” 

Similarly, single quotation marks are mainly used to quote something within a quote. 

He told his boss, “Brad was not working in the office, and he said he was suffering from ‘severe headache.” 

14. Ellipsis (…) 

Finally, Ellipsis is the last mark in our list of punctuation marks. This punctuation mark is three periods used together to show an omission of words or letters. 

Ellipsis are typically used to jump from one sentence to another while neglecting irrelevant and unnecessary words. This punctuation symbol is also used to quote someone while ignoring the unnecessary words. 

Here are some examples: 

She counted the stars: “One, two, three…” until she fell asleep.

When Jonathan said, “I have a dream…” he was talking about his desire for his team to win the tournament. 

Final Words: 

In the last analysis, learning grammar rules is an essential skill for those who hope to write inspiring, flawless content and excel in writing. Punctuation is undeniably a critical part of grammar. The appropriate use of punctuation in your writing enhances the readability of your text and makes it more engaging for the readers. The information shared in this blog post would have helped you learn about the most common punctuation marks that every writer must know. Moreover, the above examples helped you understand how to use these punctuation symbols in your writing adequately.