Punctuation 01 - Capitals and Marks
‘lakshmis mother asked why havent you finished your home work no mom I have a splitting headache replied arpana her mother wondered what will i do with this child’
Did you mange to make sense of this sentence? Is it one sentence? Can this sentence be reorganised so as to make sense to anyone who reads it?
If the same sentence is spoken, most certainly all of us who know English will understand. Why not so when written? The way to bring more meaning into sentences in writing is to use the correct punctuation.
Punctuation marks are somewhat similar to traffic rules. If everyone follows traffic rules then the traffic flows smoothly and people can go about their business without hindrance. Similarly, punctuation marks help all of us to understand a written piece and hopefully, all those who read the piece will get the same meaning - the one that the writer intended.
Now, let us see how we can make our first sentence more meaningful. Take a look at this rewriting of it:
Lakshmi’s mother asked, “Why haven’t you finished your home work?
“No, Mom, I have a splitting headache” replied Arpana.
Her mother wondered, "What will I do with this child!"
You will notice that we have made three sentences from one string of words. In order to break the sentences we have used certain marks in them. These are called punctuation marks. Now, with the proper punctuation marks in place the three sentences make much more sense. Also, note that some words are capitalised.
Full-stops, exclamation marks and question marks are punctuation marks that signal the end of a sentence, which is an expression of one single thought. In our example above, we have used all three and we can see how relevant they are. Take the quiz that follows and learn how to use the punctuation marks to express yourself better.