English - Punctuation Marks to End Sentences and Pronouns

Punctuation Marks to End Sentences

In the following sentences, choose the most appropriate punctuation mark to complete them.

  1. What on earth was that
  2. Don't go over there, it's a trap
  3. He asked what the problem was

The possible end markers for sentences are the full stop, exclamation mark and question mark. The rules, as your child should know, are fairly straightforward but there are two particular issues to be aware of. Firstly, the desire to use an exclamation mark for the tiniest thing - this is a typical child's error as they think that any sort of emotion displayed in a sentence can be better emphasised by throwing in an exclamation mark. Discourage it - the exclamation mark is for something really significant. The second issue is the use of question marks in reported speech. If something is not actually spoken in a sentence, and is just reported, then the question mark is not used.

Let's check the examples. The first sentence is a direct question. It needs a question mark. /p>

The second sentence is a warning; it certainly contains enough emotion to warrant having an exclamation mark.

The final sentence is a piece of reported speech. Although we are being told that a question was asked, we are not getting the exact words of the question. Therefore, all we need is a full stop.

  1. What on earth was that?
  2. Don't go over there, it's a trap!
  3. He asked what the problem was.


In the following sentences, there are some pronouns missing. Insert appropriate pronouns in the spaces.

Mum took the keys and _____ walked to the car.

_____ was a white car.

The pronoun is an element of a sentence which stands in place of a noun. There are also possessive pronouns which do a similar job but show that something belongs to someone. Words like 'hers' and 'theirs' do not need apostrophes; if in doubt, imagine it was 'his' and obviously there is no apostrophe there.

The commonest and most-taught pronouns are 'he', 'she', 'it' and 'they'. However, there are many other words which are pronouns, such as 'which', 'these', 'none' and 'where'. The primary curriculum is not going to be too concerned with the intricacies of naming the types of pronouns so school entry tests should also not be that pedantic. However, recognising pronouns and using them is important.

In the sentences we have to put pronouns into, there are some alternative words which may fit into the blank spaces. However, there are few pronouns which would work.

'...and SHE walked to the car.' would also make sense. Although you could put an adverb or a conjunction in the space, for instance 'slowly' or 'then', they would not be allowed as a pronoun was asked for.

Finally, 'IT was a white car' is the correct use of a pronoun.

Warn your child to look out for the use of plurals in sentences - is the word they need going to be 'he' / 'she' or 'they'? Will it be 'me' or 'us'? Pronouns, just like nouns, must have concord. They must make sense with the words around them.

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