This is a mind map talking about the punctuation marks. You can create a mind map like this with MindMaster.
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To list things
To emphasize one thing
Between two complete sentences where the 2nd sentence is an explanation
for the first
Mitch plays three instruments: piano, guitar, and flute. (list)
My dad gave me the best gift ever: tickets to my favorite Broadway show. (emphasis)
1. In a list of 3 or more things
2. When a number is over 999
3. With dates
4. With addresses
5. With quotations
6. Between adjectives
7. Between adverbs
8.After introductory words and clauses
9. To join independent clauses
10.During pauses in breath, or for nonrestrictive elements
My pets are a cat, a dog, and a goldfish. (list)
The genie in Aladdin’s lamp spent 10,000 years in captivity. (number)
Martin Luther King delivered his memorable ‘I have a Dream’ speech
on August 28, 1963. (date)
We visited Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (address)
“We are all fools in love,” said Charlotte to Elizabeth. (quotation – note it goes before the quote marks here)
The food in the restaurant was delicious, filling, and cheap. (adjectives – putting the comma before the third item is called an Oxford Comma and that’s how I use commas)
The repaired car ran smoothly, quietly, and quickly. (adverbs)
It shows strong emotion and is used at the end of an exclamatory sentence.
I got a promotion!
1. As a full stop, it is used at the end of a declarative or imperative sentence.
2. As a full point, it is used at the end of abbreviations.
3. As a full point, it is also used at the end of initials.
The food is delicious. (declarative)
Open a window. (imperative)
Dr. Goldberg is a well-known doctor. (abbreviation)
A. A. Milne wrote Winnie-the-Pooh. (initials)
1. A slash is used to show alternatives and is used in set phrases like and/or, if/when, and man/woman.
2. It can also be used to show opposite ideas or relationships.
If a person dies without a will, what happens to his/her property? (alternatives)
I have a love/hate relationship with food. (opposite concepts)
It separates two complete sentences that are closely related in thought
I am vegetarian; I don’t eat meat.
1. Quotation marks are used to show someone’s exact speech or words.
2. They are also used for titles of books, movies, stories, etc.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun,” said Albert Einstein. (exact words)
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is a good fantasy novel for both children and adults. (book title)
He married a “dancer”. (She’s actually a stripper.)
Used at the end of a question
Do you want some chocolate?
1. Parenthesis are used to enclose words that either add more detail or clarify.
2. They are also used for enumerating within a sentence.
I paid 40,000 Won (around $35) for this skirt. (more detail)
The guest speaker talked about 1) productivity, 2) focus, and 3) momentum. (enumeration)
1. A hyphen joins two or more words to make compound words.
2. We often use hyphens for numbers like Social Security numbers or phone
The company needs a long-term solution. (compound word)
The phone number to the emergency center is 1-800-273-TALK. (string of numbers)
1. To show ownership
2. In place of missing letters (contractions)
These are Jon’s shoes. (ownership)
The class president hasn’t missed a single day of school. (missing letters)
Note – when talking about ownership with the word ‘its’ there’s no apostrophe.