How to use Punctuation Correctly? Part - II


In our first part we learned about the use of five punctuations, namely period, question mark, exclamation mark, Ellipsis, Semicolon (;) and colon (:). Let us now begin our free English learning session with other punctuations.

Hyphen vs. Dash

Don't we all get confused when it comes to the use of the hyphen and dash? A hyphen is used when you add a prefix to a word. The hyphen makes it easier to read the word. For instance, reexamine needs to be written as re-examine. As you can notice, the hyphen makes the word easy to read. It is important to refer a dictionary whenever you have doubts whether a hyphen needs to be added or not.

There are words like to restate, undo, etc. that do not require a hyphen. A hyphen means the words rely on each other. The hyphen is also used when you make compound words, like, up-to-date.

The dash is used to introduce some information to the subject not necessarily directly related to the topic under discussion. For instance, Ram - a mechanical engineer from D.E institute – presented an innovative idea in his latest presentation at the annual meeting. Now, this is clearly additional information without which the sentence would be complete, but the information definitely provides more idea on his educational background. When you are using a dash, there is a way you can ascertain whether the usage is right. Just read the line, omitting the dash part, if the sentence is still making sense then it is correct, but if it is disjointed then you may need to reframe the sentence.

Quotation marks (" ")


Whenever you are stating a direct quotation, as said by a person or taken from a piece of literature, you should use the double quotation mark.

For instance: According to a research, "60% of Indian population gets confused between the usage of double quotation and single quotation marks."

Single quotation

Also called as the apostrophe mark ('), it is used within a word to indicate possession and short form.

Ex: It's my pen over there.

There is a great lot of confusion between using an apostrophe and singular/plural noun.

It is my daughter's pen and it is her pen. We cannot say that it is her's pen.

There are a number of English learning exercises online where you can practice the use of apostrophe to improve your English language skills.

English grammar is an interesting topic to learn, but requires a lot of patience and practice. Nobody can learn it overnight. So, go step-by-step. Correct usage of punctuation is a fundamental to learning the English language. We shall continue with our free English learning lessons, in our next blog. We shall also take a lesson on the usage of commas (,). Stay tuned to our online class for English speaking.



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