Punctuation Marks – the full stop.
Photo by Martin Péchy.


Punctuation marks are symbols, used to regulate written text, clarify their meaning by separating or linking words, phrases or clauses.

The great American inventor and typographer Benjamin Franklin wrote a peculiar epitaph.

Benjamin Franklin, the * of his profession, the type of honesty;  the ! of all; and although the (of death) has put a . to his existence, each) of his life has been without ?

Benjamin Franklin, the star of his profession, the type of honesty; the wonder of all and although parenthesis of death has put a stop to his existence, each curve of his life has been without question,


Every sentence must begin with a Capital letter.

We use a capital letter –

  1. To begin a sentence.- He likes cricket.
  2. For proper nouns/ adjectives – I like Ariana. / He met a Polish priest.
  3. After full stops and pronoun I – Are you fine? Yes, I am.
  4. To begin a fresh line in a poetry- ‘My heart leaps up when I behold/ A rainbow in the sky:
  5. To begin direct speech – He said, “You must come.”


Compare the two sentences:

  1. Mary says, “Sally is a fool.”
  2. Mary,” says Sally, “is a fool.”

From these two sentences it is clear that stops may alter the sense of a sentence. Punctuation means the correct use of such stops.

The principal stops are:

  1. Full stop/Period (U.S)                                                                            (.)
  2. Comma                                                                                                   (,)
  3. Semicolon                                                                                              (;)
  4. Colon                                                                                                       (:)
  5. Question mark/ Note of interrogation                                               (?)
  6. Exclamation mark/Note of exclamation                                           (!)
  7. Quotation mark/ Inverted commas       [ (“”)double]       [(‘’) single]
  8. Apostrophe                                                                                            (‘)
  9. Dash                                                                                                        (_)
  10. Hyphen                                                                                                  (-)
  11. Round bracket/ Curve/ Parenthesis                                                   (())
  12. Brace bracket/ curly bracket                                                              ({})
  13. Square bracket                                                                                      ([])
  14. Angular bracket                                                                                    (<>)
  15. Slash/ Oblique/ Slant/ Virgule                                                            (/)
  16. Back slash                                                                                               (\)
  17. Dots/ suspension Points                                                                      (…)
  18. Ditto marks                                                                                           (,,) (“)
  19. Asterisk/ star                                                                                         (*)
  20. Swang dash/ tilde                                                                                (~)



  1. At  the end of an assertive or an imperative sentence. It represents the longest pause.

Close the door.

It’s a cold day.

  • Usually after common contractions.

Advertisement- advt.   Received- Revd.  Manufacturing- mfg. Expiry date- Exp. Dt.

  • After common abbreviations.

a.m.   p.m.   B.A. M.Tech. M.L.A. e.g. i.e.

[Now-a-days compound names of organisations, designations, degrees are used without fullstop.]


  • To indicate decimal point.

$ 10.50, 20.8 secs, 70.5m

A full stop is not used

  1. After heading and titles of books  and articles


Arabian Nights

From Log cabin to White House

  • After a signature in a letter

Yours sincerely


  • After dates except at the end of sentence

25th May, 2020

Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of a language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, or to stop.