There are 14 punctuation marks in English grammar which could be listed as:

  • Exclamation (!) is used to indicate a sudden outcry, or for emphasis. Eg. Wow!

  • Period or full stop (.) is placed at the end of declarative sentences, statements and some abbreviations. It declares the greatest pause and separation.

  • Comma (,) is used to separate ideas or elements within a sentence. Eg. Give me the red, green, orange and yellow ones.

  • Dash ( – ) is used to indicate a break in thought or sentence structure, to separate two clauses, or to introduce a phrase added for explanation or emphasis. It indicates an abrupt stop or change of thought or to resume a scattered subject. Eg. "By trying we can easily learn to endure adversity--another man's, I mean." (Mark Twain)

  • Hyphen (-) is used between parts of a compound word or name, or when words are divided at the end of a line of text. Eg. Go-between, jack-of-all-trades, etc.

  • Quotation (') are marks used to indicate that the text within them comes from another source, and is repeated word for word. Examples already given.

  • Semi Colon (;) is used to connect independent clauses. Eg. Night was falling; he had to get home quickly.

  • Colon (:) is used after a word that introduces an example, a quotation or explanation. It marks a still more complete pause than that expressed by a semi colon. Eg. Jane was very sad: her dog had just died.

  • Question Mark (?) is placed at the end of a sentence which comprises a direct question. Eg. What is the time?

  • Parenthesis (()) are used to contain qualifying remarks or thoughts. Eg. "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. (Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.)" (Mark Twain)

  • Braces ({}) are used (uncommonly) to contain listed items or multiple lines of text to indicated that they are considered one unit.

  • Brackets ([]) are used for technical explanations. They are mainly used to enclose explanatory or missing material usually added by someone other than the original author, especially in quoted text. Eg. "I think the way we's [sic] educating our young people is just fine."

  • Ellipsis (…) are used to indicate the omission of (unnecessary) words that do not interfere with the meaning. Eg. "Brevity is...wit" Original text: "Brevity is the soul of wit" (Hamlet)

  • Apostrophe ( don't ) is used to indicate the omission of a letter (or letters) from a word, the possessive case, or to indicate plurals. Eg. Tom's dog is bigger than Chris' dog.

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