Use of Punctuation

In English, here are the most common punctuation marks that we use in sentences:

.   (period)

,   (comma)

:   (colon)

;   (semi-colon)

?   (question mark)

!   (exclamation point)

" "   (quotation marks)

( )   (parentheses)

-   (called a hyphen in sentences, but a dash in E-mail addresses and website addresses)

In sentences, we do not put a space between the word and the punctuation mark. The punctuation mark goes immediately after the word.


- Hi, George! (Not Hi, George !)

- How are you? (Not How are you ?)

- The following names: (Not The following names :)

- He said, "Go home!" (Not He said, " Go home ! ")

In addition, when you use parentheses, there are no spaces after the first and before the last parenthesis.

For example, (his name is Tom) not ( his name is Tom ).

Be careful when you use Word, PowerPoint, Lotus Notes, or Outlook (and computer programs in general). By default, your computer programs are probably configured in your native language. The use of punctuation in your language could be different from the English language.

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