Punctuation of English
|In other scripts|
- 1 National variants
- 2 Usage of different punctuation marks or symbols
- 3 References
There are two major styles of punctuation in English: American or "traditional punctuation"; and British or "logical punctuation." These two styles differ mainly in the way in which they handle quotation marks.
Usage of different punctuation marks or symbols
Colon and semicolon
The colon ( : ) is used to explain or start an enumeration. The semicolon ( ; ) is often used to break up listings with commas: "She saw three men: Jamie, who came from New Zealand; John, the milkman's son; and George, a gaunt kind of man."
The comma ( , ، 、 ) is used to disambiguate the meaning of sentences. For example, "Man, without her cell phone, is nothing" (emphasizing the importance of cell phone) and "Man: without it, is nothing" (emphasizing the importance of men) have greatly different meanings, as do "eats shoots and leaves" (to mean "consumes plant growths") and "eats, shoots and leaves" (to mean "eats firstly, fires a weapon secondly, and leaves the scene thirdly").
Dash and hyphen
An ellipsis ( …, ..., . . . ) is used to mark omitted text.
Full stop (British), or Period (American)
Dwight D. Eisenhower's home in Gettysburg, Pa., was not very far from Washington, D.C.
The question mark ( ? ) is used to mark the end of a sentence which is a question.
The slash or stroke or solidus ( /, ⁄ ) is often used to indicate alternatives, such as "his/her", or two equivalent meanings or spellings, such as ""grey/gray".
- Translation, Linguistics, Culture: A French - English Handbook -2005 p205 "Partridge (1999) is a good book-length guide to punctuation in English. Grevisse (1986) has a long section on French punctuation. Demanuelli (1987) is a book-length treatment of punctuation differences between French and English."
- Truss, Lynne (2003). Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Profile Books. ISBN 1-86197-612-7.
- Irwin Feigenbaum The Grammar Handbook 1985 p303 "... period after initials in a name and after other abbreviations. (103) Dwight D. Eisenhower's home in Gettysburg, Pa., was not very far from Washington, D.C. In a direct quotation, 3 periods are used to show that a word or words have been