Toolkits

11 Punctuation Marks you need to use correctly

Punctuation Marks are very important! They can actually save lives. Don’t believe me? Look at this:

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It’s important to know when to use your commas, semi-colons, and dashes. Here we compiled a list of punctuation marks and how you can use them properly.

 

punctuation-marks

Use it to end a sentence.

Example: Climate change is real.

 

Use it to end a sentence denoting inquiry.

Example: Are you seriously a climate denier?

 

Use it to end a sentence denoting excitement or emphasis.

I love gender-sensitive responses to climate change!

 

Use it to denote a break within a sentence. To separate two or more adjectives, items in a list, two independent clauses and direct quotations.

Examples:
Climate change is a server, unjust threat.

Sea level rise will bring floods, salinization and damage to infrastructures.

Countries have not yet agreed on a climate deal, and climate change is already here.

Quoting the activists, “Keep it in the ground”.

 

Use it to separate two related but independent clauses or to separate a series of items that already have commas.

Examples:
I asked Renee to talk about human rights; she knows a lot about them.

Climate impacts have been seen in New Orleans, US; Panay, Philippines and Accra, Ghana.

Both the colon and the semicolon can be used to connect two independent clauses. When the second clause expands on or explains the first, we will use a colon. When the clauses are merely related, but the second does not follow from the first, we will use a semicolon.

Examples:
72% of Republicans are climate deniers; an overwhelming majority of scientists are not.

72% of Republicans are climate deniers: most of them have economic and political interests hidden.

 

Use it to introduce a list or to introduce a statement that expands upon the clause before the colon.

Example:
Climate change will have many impacts: health, tourism, ecosystems, etc.

Not all lists should be introduced with a colon. If the introductory text cannot stand as a grammatically complete sentence, do not use a colon.

Example:
To come to COP22 please bring energy, patience, and willingness to work hard.

 

Use it to add a prefix, create compound words or write numbers as words.

Example:
Climate-smart agriculture is the future.

Spider-Man would also fight for climate.

Shell has known about climate change for thirty-five years.

 

Use it to make a brief interruption within a sentence or a parenthetical phrase.

Example:
The COP president —with a nervous face, I might add — announced the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

 

Use it to enclose a direct quotation.

Example:

“Let us not take this planet for granted.”

Periods and commas go inside quotation marks, even if they aren’t part of the material being quoted. All other punctuation marks go outside the quotation marks, unless they are part of the material being quoted.

Example:

“If we do not stop climate change,” she said, “future generations will suffer.”

 

Use it to denote possession, denote contraction or a quotation within a quotation.

Examples:

Climate change is man’s fault.

We’ve to stop it.

 

Use it to indicate clarification or a personal commentary.

Examples:

Please take some real climate action (as opposed to this weak policy).

I prefer to talk about adaptation (not that there’s anything wrong with mitigation).

When a sentence with parentheses is included at the end of a larger sentence, the terminal punctuation for the larger sentence goes outside the closing parenthesis. When it exists on its own, the terminal punctuation goes inside the closing parenthesis.

Example:

This week there is a hot wave in London (Canada, not England). (Fortunately, my friend does not live there anymore.)

 

Resources:

http://www.wikihow.com/Use-English-Punctuation-Correctly

http://www.thepunctuationguide.com/top-ten.html

About Anna Pérez Català

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