UN English Language Day is observed annually on 23rd April. The event was established by UN’s Department of Public Information in 2010, “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organisation“.
English is the most widely used language globally. Punctuations form an integral part ofthe proper use of English. Let us revisit the rules of some of the most commonly used punctuations.
1.The use of Period/Fullstop (.) – It is used in two scenarios
- To end a declarative sentence: I am going to the market.
- After abbreviations: Mr. Malhotra was born on Feb. 5, 1976.
2.The use of Question Mark (?)- It is used to indicate a direct question
- What is your name?
- Where are you going?
3.The use of Exclamation (!)–It is used when a person wants to express a sudden outcry or add emphasis
- Within dialogue: “Oh My God!” screamed Tina.
- To emphasise a point: That birthday cake was so good!
4.The use of Comma (,)–It is used to show a separation of ideas or elements within the structure of a sentence
- Direct address: Thanks for all your help, Tejas.
- Separation of two complete sentences: We went to the movies, and then we went out to lunch.
- Separating lists or elements within sentences: Rakesh wanted the black, green and blue car.
5.The Use of Colon(:)–It can be used in three cases
- Word introducing a quotation, an explanation, an example, or a series: He was planning to study four subjects: Politics, Philosophy, Sociology, and Economics.
- Between independent clauses: She kept repeating: “I want the car!”
- To emphasise: There was one thing she loved more than any other: her dog.
6.The Use of Semi Colon (;)–It is used to connect independent clauses to show a closer relationship between them
- We were out of practice; we lost the game.
7.The use of Hyphen (-)–It is used to join two or more words together into a compound term and is not separated by spaces
8.The Use of Apostrophe (’) – It can be used in threecases
- Omission of letters from a word: I’ve seen that movie several times.
- Possessive case: This is Sonam’s pen.
- Plural of letters: Ramesh got A’s in his Biology quiz.
9.The use of Quotation marks(“ “)–These are used to write direct quotes or write words as they were spoken.
- “Don’t go outside”, she said.
10.The use of Ellipsis (…)– It is used when omitting a word, phrase, line, paragraph or more.
- For replacement or omission: She began to count, “One, two, three, four…” until she got to 10, then went to find him.
- For a pause and effect:Then it appeared … a genie!
- An unfinished thought: I was thinking about you today …
Becoming familiar and using these punctuation marks properly will allow you to express yourself better and also improve your writing.
Equipyourself with many such facts about English and other subjects like Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences with Geneo. Learn with the help of videos, practice questions and muchmore and be thorough in your studies.
UN launches new initiative to promote multilingualism. United Nations News Centre, 19 February 2010. Consulted on 2011-04-23.
^ Department of Public Information to Launch ‘Language Days at the United Nations’ United Nations, 19 February 2010