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Punctuations - Introduction and Rules, Part 5, Verbal Aptitude | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT PDF Download

Question Marks

Rule 1. Use a question mark only after a direct question.

Correct: Will you go with me?
Incorrect: I'm asking if you will go with me?

Rule 2a. A question mark replaces a period at the end of a sentence.

Incorrect: Will you go with me?.

Rule 2b. Because of Rule 2a, capitalize the word that follows a question mark.

Some writers choose to overlook this rule in special cases.

Example: Will you go with me? with Joe? with anyone?

 

Rule 3a. Avoid the common trap of using question marks with indirect questions, which are statements that contain questions. Use a period after an indirect question.

Incorrect: I wonder if he would go with me?
Correct:
I wonder if he would go with me.
OR
I wonder: Would he go with me?

Rule 3b. Some sentences are statements—or demands—in the form of a question. They are called rhetorical questions because they don't require or expect an answer. Many should be written without question marks.

Examples:
Why don't you take a break.
 Would you kids knock it off.
 What wouldn't I do for you!

Rule 4. Use a question mark when a sentence is half statement and half question.

Example: You do care, don't you?

 

Rule 5a. The placement of question marks with quotation marks follows logic. If a question is within the quoted material, a question mark should be placed inside the quotation marks.

Examples:
She asked, "Will you still be my friend?"
The question Will you still be my friend? is part of the quotation.

Do you agree with the saying, "All's fair in love and war"?
The question Do you agree with the saying? is outside the quotation.

Rule 5b. If a quoted question ends in midsentence, the question mark replaces a comma.

Example: "Will you still be my friend?" she asked.

 

Exclamation Points

Rule 1. Use an exclamation point to show emotion, emphasis, or surprise.

Examples:
I'm truly shocked by your behavior!
 Yay! We won!

Rule 2. An exclamation point replaces a period at the end of a sentence. It also replaces a midsentence comma.

Incorrect: I'm truly shocked by your behavior!.
Correct: I'm truly shocked by your behavior!

Incorrect: "I'm truly shocked by your behavior!," I told her.
Correct: "I'm truly shocked by your behavior!" I told her.

Rule 3. Avoid using an exclamation point in formal business writing.

Rule 4. Overuse of exclamation points is a sign of undisciplined writing. The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke." Do not use even one of these marks unless you're convinced it is justified.

 

Slashes

Despite its popularity, the slash (/), technically known as a virgule, is frowned upon by purists. Other than to indicate dates (9/11/2001) or to separate lines of poetry ("Celery, raw / Develops the jaw"), it has few defensible uses.

Usually a hyphen, or in some cases the word or, will suffice. Instead of writing the novelist/poet Eve Jones, make it the novelist-poet Eve Jones. Rather than available to any man/woman who is qualified, make it any man or woman.

The slash has always been a handy tool for taking notes and writing rough outlines. Substituting w/o for withouty/o for years old, and b/c for because can save valuable time and space.

 

However, most slashes can—and should—be removed from a final draft. Writers should replace a construction like any man/woman with any man or woman in their finished work.

"The virgule is a mark that doesn't appear much in first-rate writing," says Bryan A. Garner in A Dictionary of Modern American Usage. "Use it as a last resort."

The document Punctuations - Introduction and Rules, Part 5, Verbal Aptitude | Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT is a part of the CAT Course Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC).
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FAQs on Punctuations - Introduction and Rules, Part 5, Verbal Aptitude - Verbal Ability (VA) & Reading Comprehension (RC) - CAT

1. What are the different types of punctuation marks?
Ans. There are several types of punctuation marks, including periods, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, semicolons, colons, quotation marks, apostrophes, parentheses, brackets, dashes, and ellipses. Each punctuation mark serves a specific purpose in writing and helps convey meaning and clarity.
2. How do you use a comma correctly?
Ans. Commas are used to separate items in a list, set off introductory phrases or clauses, separate coordinate adjectives, set off nonessential information, and join independent clauses with coordinating conjunctions. It is important to use commas correctly to avoid confusion and ensure proper sentence structure.
3. What is the purpose of quotation marks?
Ans. Quotation marks are used to indicate direct speech or to enclose a direct quotation. They are also used to indicate titles of short works, such as articles, poems, or short stories, and to show irony or sarcasm. Quotation marks help differentiate between the writer's words and someone else's words or titles.
4. When should you use an exclamation mark?
Ans. Exclamation marks are used to express strong emotions, such as surprise, excitement, or anger. They are used at the end of exclamatory sentences or after interjections and are intended to add emphasis to the statement. It is important not to overuse exclamation marks to maintain their impact and avoid sounding overly dramatic.
5. What is the difference between a dash and a hyphen?
Ans. A dash and a hyphen are two different punctuation marks with distinct uses. A hyphen (-) is used to join words or parts of words, such as in compound words or to indicate a range of numbers. On the other hand, a dash (—) is used to indicate a pause or break in a sentence, set off additional information, or show an abrupt change in thought. The dash is longer than a hyphen and creates a stronger break in the text.
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