Continuing with our list of punctuation marks and their uses, here are the rest of the most important and most used marks:

  • The Full Stop/Period (.):

Usage: As the name signifies, it indicates the end of a sentence (I like English.), or with abbreviations (Co. == Company), or initials (Amgad Y. Kaldas).

Format: Space is added after the full stop, but not before. The full stop is followed by upper case word.

  • The Quotation Marks ("  ", '  '):

Usage: Around artistic names (Books, movies, Albums, etc…), for dialogues ("Good morning, Frank," said Hal.), for unusual usage of words and irony (Crystals somehow "know" which shape to grow into.) and (He shared his "wisdom" with me.), and for distinction ("Cheese" is derived from a word in Old English.).

Format: Spaces are added outside the quotation marks (before the opening and after the closing marks), but not inside (xx "xxx" yyy).

  • Ellipsis Mark (…):

Usage: in place of cut off text that won't affect the meaning of the sentence (The film focused on three English learners...studying at university.), or to implicate that there's more to say while chatting, or instead of listing so many items that are already understandable from the first few examples- and so forth or etc.,  or to indicate a pause in a dialogue.

Format: depends on your style, can have space before and after, between, or no spaces around. When at the end of a sentence, a fourth one is usually added as a full stop.

  • Hyphen (-):

Usage: to join words and to separate syllables of a single word (book-case, or a blue-eyed boy), with prefixes (self-motivated, non-English), or in justified text for wrapping a long word at the end of the line.

Format: no spaces on either side of the hyphen.

  • Dash (–, —):

Usage: as a colon to introduce a list, to denote a break in a sentence or to set off parenthetical statements (A flock of sparrows—some of them juveniles—alighted and sang.), or to indicate spans/ranges (pp. 38-55, for ages 3–5), or o show a pause or break in meaning in the middle of a sentence (My brothers—Richard and John—are visiting Hanoi.).

Format: for the "n dash", the smaller one, you can add space on either side, for the "m dash", usually no space are added.

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