Punctuation Marks | English Grammar class to improve writing skills | Facts about t English Language

In today’s English Grammar class solve the punctuation marks puzzle and improve your English writing skills. Also you would learn some less know facts about the English language. The use of punctuations in English is very important as it tells about the emotions in English writing, it gives meaning to sentences and helps us to have appropriate pauses while reading. If there were no punctuation marks in the English language everything would have been so confusing. Your English teacher Michelle has simplified the use of punctuation in English writing, so that you don’t make any mistakes in English writing. This English lesson would be extremely useful for scoring good marks in IELTS writing test.  Watch these English writing tips till the end to get complete insights about how punctuations have evolved in the English language.

In this lesson, you will learn the rules for using:
– period/full stop (.)
– exclamation mark (!)
– question mark (?)
– comma (,)
– semicolon (;)
– colon (:)
– apostrophe (‘)

Complete Video Transcript –


So here is a test for you on the board. This is how we start this lesson. We start this lesson with a test. What do you call this? Do you call this a mark looking like an S which actually means an end? If you call it like that then my dear you need to know the correct names for all of these punctuation marks which I am sure most of you are using. To find out what are the names of these punctuation marks, please keep watching this video. I’m Michelle and we are going to start now.

Let’s look at the first punctuation mark that we have on the board, which means, of course, you’re all very smart it means and. Okay, no problem it means and but what do we call this? Is this also called an and? Actually, it’s not called an and, it has a different name. I’ll tell you the name. The name of this mark is an ampersand. I know that’s so different, so strange a name ampersand and why is this called an ampersand? So you know there’s a very fascinating history behind it. So this word is actually it’s originating from Latin all right. Et, in Latin, et means and, alright and the Latin scribes, when they used to write, they used to write et in a hurried way. They used to write it very quickly. So ultimately their et, actually became something like this which now means an and, and guess what? This ampersand is also counted now as the 27th letter in the alphabet that we have. So it’s the 27th letter after Z. The reason behind is this that after like X Y Z and per se and, that’s how the kids used to say and per se and. So after Z we have an and, and per se and was slurred together and it forms a name ampersand.

Now let’s look at the second one that we have. What is that? Is that a period or is that a comma? So a period is a full stop for you and you know a comma. So what is it? It’s a period also and a comma also, what does it mean? First of all let’s talk about the meaning. So this one means, this is joint, this is used to join compound sentences. So compound sentences mean that there are two clauses in a sentence all right and they come together to form one sentence. So let’s say that Mark has nothing against leopards he has grown up with cats. I’ll write it for you here, Mark has nothing against cats, he has, oh I’m so sorry, Mark has nothing against leopards; he has grown up with cats, right? So where do you think we can put this mark here? Which two clauses are we trying to join? We’re trying to join this clause with this clause.  So Mark has nothing against leopards; this is one sentence in itself. It does not need another sentence. He has grown up with cats, this is also another sentence in itself and it does not need another sentence. However, because these two sentences have a relationship with each other, because both of them are talking about Mark, that’s why they form one sentence with two independent clauses. So we use the this mark to talk about two independent clauses, to join them together and this mark is called as a semicolon, semi means half of a colon and what is a colon? A colon is like this and this is a semicolon.

Let’s look at the next and one of the most common punctuation marks after period and this one is a comma. A comma, so comma is used of course to mark a pause. Whenever you want to mark a pause, you will use a comma between two sentences or when you’re separating items in a list. Like I went to the supermarket and I got a soap, I got a brush, I got a hairdryer. So you’ll put a comma between all of these to mark a pause. Now there’s another interesting history for comma as well. Comma was the independence of slash because initially this mark which is a slash, which now means oblique or means you know you’re comparing two things, so a car/bike, one of these. We are choosing one, either or . So the comma initially we used to use slash in place of comma for marking a pause but eventually as the writing grew and people started writing in a faster manner, they started using a comma and this actually turned into this. So it’s an evolution of slash and now slash is exclusively used for comparing two things and not for any pauses.

This one here, have you ever seen something like this? Have you ever heard something like I think I love you……So we don’t know what that person wanted to say after that, it’s an incomplete sentence. So whenever you have something incomplete, a particular sentence which is incompletely spoken or incompletely written it’s marked as this and this is called an ellipsis, used for an incomplete sentence. Most often we know what the person wants to say but sometimes we don’t know and there is just no way to find out except to believe the ellipsis.

The next one that we have is this mark, which is popularly, commonly known as apostrophe. So apostrophe has more than one function.The first function is, it’s used as a contraction, contraction. So for example, I want to join can with not it would come together as can’t, can with an apostrophe T. The other function it performs is to talk about something that is belonging to someone. So it’s also used for belonging. So like if I have a phone in my hand, this is Lisa’s phone. This means that the phone belongs to Lisa. So if I’m trying to imply belonging, I should use an apostrophe.

The next ones that we have are this. Very often when we talk, in our body language we mark this as this. This means quotation mark or in someone else’s words. This is when we are saying some other person’s words, it’s called a quotation mark. So we are quoting someone. Tony said, “I would like to see you again.” So that’s how you use it with said you put a comma and then you use the quotation marks to quote someone else’s speech.

The next one that we have is a very small one which we use very often it’s called a hyphen. So like we have colon, sorry semicolon that we use to join two independent clauses, we have hyphen to join two independent words which are together called compound words. So like we have it here, good and hearted come together to form good-hearted but we join them using a hyphen but you know what, you would, of course, know that when you’re writing, when you complete a line and one word is incomplete. So let’s say you were writing a line and a particular word you start from here, there was a leop and you want to write in the next line now so you would put up hyphen here and right leopard, this means that the same word is continuing.

This mark is a very famous mark, we all know about it, it’s called a question mark. It’s used at the end of questions. We also call it an interrogation mark. Did Mary get married? At the end of the question, you will put a question mark whenever you’re writing.

So the next one that we have is an exclamation mark, exclamation mark. I found out some very interesting facts behind this mark as well. So initially I mean, long ago in ancient days when people used to write, they used to write J-o-y, joy which is a Latin word and now an English word also which means happiness and when they used to write joy for happiness slowly they started contracting this word and in a hurry they started writing the J and the O only which looks something like this. And much later, it actually became an exclamation mark, it’s interesting, isn’t it?

The last one that we have, this is the portmanteau, which means it has two marks coming together and two words coming together because its name is interrobang. So bang means an exclamation or a shock or a surprise which is named as this mark, which means surprise. and interro,  as I told you an interrogation mark means a question mark. So whenever you ask a question about something which you’re very surprised about, you can put a question mark and an exclamation mark together. They can go in any order. You can also write this way, what did that really happen? So you’re shocked also and you’re asking a question as well.

So here we come to an end of today’s video. I hope it was fun learning for you all these punctuation marks. I will come back with more lessons for you. I hope you had a great time bye-bye.

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