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Punctuation (विराम चिह्न) | Basic English Grammar for Competitive Exams - Bank Exams PDF Download

Introduction of Punctuation (विराम चिह्न का परिचय)

Punctuation is defined as a set of symbols used to separate and clarify the meaning of sentences and written elements. In other words, punctuation tells readers of your writing where to pause, what words are quotations and which are clarifications, where words have been omitted, and more. 

विराम का अर्थ है – ‘रुकना’ या ‘ठहरना’। वाक्य को लिखते अथवा बोलते समय बीच में कहीं थोड़ा-बहुत रुकना पड़ता है। जिससे भाषा स्पष्ट, अर्थवान एवं भावपूर्ण हो जाती है। लिखित भाषा में इस ठहराव को दिखाने के लिए कुछ विशेष प्रकार के चिह्नों का प्रयोग करते हैं। इन्हें ही विराम-चिह्न कहा जाता है।

Note: Punctuation helps us to determine the structure of sentences as well as intonation during reading. (विराम चिह्न पढ़ने के दौरान वाक्यों की संरचना के रूप में अच्छी तरह से और निर्धारित करने के लिए हमें मदद करता है ।)

Types of Punctuation

1. Period (.) - A period is used to indicate the end of a sentence.

  • Example: She went to the store.

2. Comma (,) - A comma is used to separate items in a list or to separate clauses in a sentence.

  • Example: I need to buy apples, oranges, and bananas.

3. Semicolon (;) - A semicolon is used to connect two closely related sentences or independent clauses.

  • Example: She loves to read; he loves to write.

4. Colon (:) - A colon is used to introduce a list, explanation, or quotation.

  • Example: The ingredients for the cake are: flour, sugar, eggs, and milk.

5. Question mark (?) - A question mark is used to indicate a direct question.

  • Example: What time is it?

6. Exclamation point (!) - An exclamation point is used to indicate strong emotion or emphasis.

  • Example: I can't believe I won!

7. Quotation marks (") - Quotation marks are used to indicate direct speech or a quotation from a source.

  • Example: "I have a dream," said Martin Luther King Jr.

8. Parentheses () - Parentheses are used to enclose additional information that is not essential to the sentence.

  • Example: The concert (which was sold out) was amazing.

9. Dash (-) - A dash is used to indicate a pause or a change in thought within a sentence.

  • Example: She was excited to travel to Europe - but nervous at the same time.

10. Ellipsis (...) - An ellipsis is used to indicate that something has been omitted from a quotation or to indicate a pause or trailing off of thought.

  • Example: "To be or not to be, that is the question...".

Solved Exercise

Exercise 1: Identify and correct the punctuation errors in the following sentences.
1. Incorrect: My friends names are, Sam, Anna, and Sarah.
Correct: My friends' names are Sam, Anna, and Sarah.

The apostrophe is used to show possession (the names belong to the friends). No comma is needed before the first name in the list.

2. Incorrect: He said "I'm not hungry".
Correct: He said, "I'm not hungry."

A comma is needed before the dialogue, and the period should be inside the quotation marks.

3. Incorrect: I have three dogs, a cat and a fish.
Correct: I have three dogs, a cat, and a fish.

A comma is needed before the last item in the list to maintain consistency.

4. Incorrect: Sarahs favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.
Correct: Sarah's favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.

An apostrophe is needed to show possession (the favorite book belongs to Sarah).

5. Incorrect: On Monday Ill go to the store.
Correct: On Monday, I'll go to the store.

A comma is needed after "Monday" to separate the introductory phrase from the main clause. An apostrophe is needed in "I'll" to show a contraction of "I" and "will."

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