Listen to a new episode of Speak English Now Podcast, your favorite material for practicing your spoken and heard English. You will also learn about lifestyle and culture, language, vocabulary, and how to improve your English more effectively.
Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.
Today I am talking about punctuation. 🙂
In the second part, you will improve your English fluency with a fun mini-story. It’s like having a conversation with another person in English!
Before we start, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast to get the transcript of this episode.
Ok! Today I am talking about punctuation. By this word, I mean the different spelling marks used when writing. These are the main ones.
Period or full stop . – is a punctuation mark that we use to show the end of a sentence.
Commas , are the ideal punctuation mark to divide sentences or indicate when to pause.
Apostrophes – we use them to identify something that belongs to someone or to show a letter or multiple letters are missing from a word.
Colons : are used to precede a list of items, a quotation, or an expansion or explanation.
Semicolons ; indicate a pause, usually between two main sentences, longer than that indicated by a comma.
Ellipsis … We use them to show that one or more words have been removed from a quote and create suspense by adding a pause before the end of the sentence. And we can also use it to show the end of a thought.
Quotation marks ” ” Inform the reader that you have used written material from other sources or direct speech.
Question marks ? Indicate that the speaker is asking a question. They’re used at the end of the question (or interrogative) sentences.
Exclamation marks ! Can change a sentence’s meaning and tone. They still end a sentence, but they can add emotion, whether excitement, anger, or nervousness!
Round brackets ( ) are used similarly to commas when we want to add an explanation, an afterthought, or a comment related to our primary line of thought but different from it.
Square brackets or brackets [ ] We use them for special purposes, such as technical manuals.
Hyphen – we use it to join words and separate syllables of a single word.
Punctuations can be very confusing, especially if you don’t know where to place them, and can change the entire meaning of what you want to say.
Let’s look at some examples of situations when we do not use punctuation marks properly:
#1 Woman Without Man
A teacher wrote the following sentence on the board and asked his class to punctuate it:
Woman without her man is nothing.
Half of the class punctuated the sentence in the following way:
Woman: without her, man is nothing.
The other half of the class responded with the following:
Woman, without her man, is nothing.
Fascinating how punctuation can change the meaning of a sentence entirely.
#2 Your granny’s life depends upon it!
Here, commas matter.
Let’s eat granny!
Let’s eat, granny!
See the difference?
#3 Eat your dinner.
You say to a child: Eat your dinner!
You say to a cow: Eat! You‘re dinner!
Here, apostrophes matter.
#4 I’m sorry I love you.
When you are in a terrible fight, you might say a horrible thing like this one:
I’m sorry I love you.
And when you want to make up again, you can say:
I’m sorry; I love you.
Semicolons matter! 🙂
#5 I find inspiration in cooking my family and my dog.
That sounds crazy! Right?
We need some commas here!
Let’s hear it again:
I find inspiration in cooking, my family, and my dog.
That’s much better!
By the way, if you want to know how to speak English using the right techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my 5-day video course, so you can learn how to speak English fluently. And it’s completely free.
(END OF THE EXTRACT)