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punctuation ; Semi-colons : Colons

are used to indicate how things relate to each other

are sually followed by a list or an explanation of what precedes the Colon I went to Leeds and I visited: Gap; H&M; Office, and Dune.


Speech Marks

are used to indicate direct speech or quotation. Important: Single speech marks not like in Germany. German: Leah says: “Hi my name is Leah.” English: Leah says: ‘Hi my name is Leah.’

‘ Apostrophe

Indicate possession or omission (=missing letter). Possesion: Leah’s car Omission: Leah’s is happy

! - - Dashes

Exclamation Marks

should be used very few in articles.

Are for thoughts inside a sentence and they can give additional information (King, 2004, p. 8).



They give additional information in a sentence (King, 2004, p. 8).

Commas in direct quoation

The first comma goes into the speech marks! German: “I am so tired”, she said with a smile, “because I didn’t get any sleep last night.” English: ‘I am so tired,’ she said with a smile, ‘because I didn’t get any sleep last night.”

, Comma

Commas are used to structure sentences. Here are some rules that Hicks names in his book ‘English for journalists’ (2007, p. 64-66). According to him the comma is used to: 1.

separate a series of words or phrases of the same kind.


make a list more clear: I visited H&M, Marks and Spencers, and Zara. The comma here is needed to make clear that Marks and Spencers is one shop.


to mark off words that address someone.

4. where appropriate, to mark off words such as ‘however’, ‘yet’, ‘for example’, ‘in fact’, ‘of course’. 5. mark off a word, phrase or clause in a parenthesis. I talked to Linda, who is my sisters best friend, about it. 6. mark off an introductory phrase or clause: Because of the rain, we decided not to go out today. 7. To lengthen the pause between two sentences that are joined by a conjunction. But do not do that if the subject of the two sentences is the same and avoid it if there is no conjunction. She was about to leave, but he held her back. She wanted to leave, but she didn‘t. The comma is optional after a conjunction such as ‘but’ or ‘and’ (Hicks, 2007, p. 66). But the comma before ‘and’ in a list is considered outdated and should not be used - except as named in point 2 (King, 2004, p. 55).


make an article easier to read. You can think of a paragraph as a way of structuring your thoughts in one article. One paragraph for one thought. It can also be seen as a “breathing space for both writer and listener” (King, 2004, p. 16). Bibliography Hicks, W. (2007) english for journalists. 3rd ed. Oxon: Routlegdge. King, G. (2004) Good Punctuation. The one-stop punctuation problem solver. 2nd ed. Glasgow: HarperCollingsPublishers.