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Punctuation Marks

Summary of common punctuation marks

The following table of commonly used English punctuation marks shows:

punctuation mark name example
full stop or period full stop or period I like English.
comma comma I speak English, French and Thai.
semi-colon semi-colon I don't often go swimming; I prefer to play tennis.
colon colon You have two choices: finish the work today or lose the contract.
hyphen hyphen This is a rather out-of-date book.
dash dash In each town—London, Paris and Rome—we stayed in youth hostels.
question mark question mark Where is Shangri-La?
exclamation mark exclamation mark
exclamation point (AmE)
"Help!" she cried. "I can't swim!"
slash or forward slash slash, forward slash or oblique Please press your browser's Refresh/Reload button.
backslash backslash C:\Files\jo.doc
double quotation marks double quotation marks "I love you," she said.
single quotation marks single quotation marks 'I love you,' she said.
apostrophe apostrophe This is John's car.
underline underline Have you read Harry Potter?
underscore underscore
round brackets round brackets I went to Bangkok (my favourite city) and stayed there for two weeks.
square brackets square brackets The newspaper reported that the hostages [most of them French] had been released.
ellipsis ellipsis mark One happy customer wrote: "This is the best program...that I have ever seen."