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Basic Punctuation

A quick guide on when and where

Basic Punctuation - Page 1 of 10 Brooke Weston - Literacy across the curriculum


Introduction This guide is designed to help you to use the correct basic punctuation when you are writing. Having the correct punctuation in your written work not only improves the capacity for it to be understood by those reading it but also improves the quality, particularly when it is being marked or assessed. If you are ever unsure about which punctuation mark to use whilst you are writing, refer to this quick guide to make sure you are using the correct one. There are also other literacy guides you can use to help improve your skills further.

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The Alphabet Lowercase or small letters:

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz Uppercase or Capital letters:

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTU VWXYZ Basic punctuation marks:

.?!,

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Capital Letters Capital letters are the perhaps easiest thing about the English language. We always use capital letters at the start of a sentence. e.g.

The cat sat on the mat. We use capitals for the names of people. e.g.

His name was Peter Smith. capital letter

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We use capitals for the names of places. e.g.

London, Northampton, Corby. We use capitals for when someone has a title. e.g.

Queen Elizabeth, Sir Winston Churchill. We use capitals when we make use of acronyms. e.g.

British Broadcasting Corporation becomes BBC. Light-emitting diode becomes LED. acronym

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Full Stop Full stops are also quite easy. We use them when we want to end any basic sentence (a sentence that is not a question or an exclamation). e.g.

The cat was happy where it was. full stop

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Question Mark Question marks are also quite simple to use. We use them every time that we ask a question in our written work. e.g.

What do you think you are doing? question mark

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Exclamation Mark In a similar way to question marks, exclamation marks are also quite simple to use. We use them when we want to show a strong emotion or feeling in the sentence we are writing. e.g.

Wow! That’s awesome! or

Stop! Stop right now! exclamation mark

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Comma Commas can be quite tricky to master when you are writing but they can be really useful. Commas are primarily used to separate things (like lists). e.g.

Shopping: bacon, eggs, cheese and milk. comma

or

He was a tall, dark, strong and handsome man. comma

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Commas are also used to separate clauses (ideas) within a sentence. e.g.

I passed the maths exam, he failed. comma

Both could be separate sentences but we have united them with a comma. There are other ways that the comma is used. Why not find the literacy guide leaflet*** that shows you how to use more sophisticated punctuation.

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A quick guide on when and where Basic Punctuation - Page 1 of 10 Brooke Weston - Literacy across the curriculum Basic Punctuation - Page 2 o...

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