Punctuation Introduction

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  • “Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop.”
  • The way a sentence is punctuated can change its meaning, for example,
    • A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    • A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Why it is necessary?

    • A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
    • “Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
    • “I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”
    • The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
  • Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

Common Mistakes found

  • Full stops (periods) These mark the end of a thought. There is NO space before it, but there is ONE space after the full stop (or period).
  • Following the end of a sentence The new sentence starts with a Capital Letter.
  • NEVER start a sentence with an abbreviation e.g. “GIS is used…” should “Geographical Information Systems are used… ”
  • Never start a sentence with a number e.g. “10% of an ecosystem” should be written “Ten-percent of an ecosystem” when at the start of a sentence.

Task one

Task two

  • Add the punctuation mark
  • Comma – I went to the bank the chemist and Shoprite
  • Comma – I am of course going steadily insane
  • Colon – Tom has only one rule in life never eat anything bigger than your head
  • Semi-colon – It was the barking of an enormous dog it came from over there
  • Exclamation mark – Phew Its hot outside
  • Question mark – What is the capital of France
  • Hyphen – There were thirty two rabbits

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