How to use the question mark ?

There are two uses of the question mark:

  • At the end of a direct question [Do you understand this rule?]
  • To show that something is uncertain (when it should be inside round brackets or parentheses) [He was born in 1886(?) and died in 1942.]
  • Note: A question mark should not be used at the end of an indirect question in which the speaker’s exact words are not repeated.

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    How to use the full stop ?

    There are two uses of the full stop:

  • To mark the end of a sentence expressing a statement (if you are unsure whether the words constitute a sentence, look for a verb which is an essential component of a sentence) [This is a sentence with the verb ‘is’.]
  • To signify an acronym – [N.A.T.O. for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (although increasingly it is acceptable and even preferable not to use full stops in such cases)]
  • Note: A common mistake is to use a comma where a full stop should be used, as in the linking of statements or sentences.

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    Use of Punctuation in English language – Disscussion I

    Introduction

    The earliest known punctuation was used by Aristophanes of Byzantium, a libarian at Alexandria, around 200 BC. However, punctuation as we understand it today was the result of the rise of printing in the 14th and 15th centuries and was developed by Aldus Manutius and his grandson (who had the same name). Punctuation marks are used to structure and organise a sentence to create sense, clarity and stress in writing. The most common of these are the period (or full stop in British English), the comma, the exclamation mark, the question mark, the colon and semi-colon, the quote, the apostrophe, the hyphen and dash, and parentheses and brackets. Poor punctuation marks can often lead to a sentence or words to have different or unclear meanings. There are clear rules for the use of punctuation marks. You can quickly see why punctuation is important if you try and read this sentence which has no punctuation at all: perhaps you dont always need to use commas periods colons etc to make sentences clear when i am in a hurry tired cold lazy or angry i sometimes leave out punctuation marks grammar is stupid i can write without it and dont need it my uncle Harry once said he was not very clever and i never understood a word he wrote to me i think ill learn some punctuation not too much enough to write to Uncle Harry he needs some help Now let’s see if punctuation it makes a difference! Perhaps you don’t always need to use commas, periods, colons etc. to make sentences clear. When I am in a hurry, tired, cold, lazy, or angry I sometimes leave out punctuation marks. “Grammar is stupid! I can write without it and don’t need it.” my uncle Harry once said. He was not very clever and I never understood a word he wrote to me. I think I’ll learn some punctuation – not too much, enough to write to Uncle Harry. He needs some help!

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