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Punctuation is a visual device to make writing easy to read and to understand the written material.


The Full Stop (Period)


-         The full stop is used at the end of each declerative sentence, except questions and exclamations.

“He who says I am a Turk is the happiest person.”


-         Use the full stop for imperative sentences.

“Come here.”


-         Use a full stop after abbreviations.



-         Use after initials.

“M. Kemal Atatürk”


-         It is also used after clipped words.

“Wed. (Wednesday)”


The Comma


Use a comma as a linker for a list of items in a sentence:

“I like eating chocolate, candies, and fruits.”


Use a comma while marking off a direct speech:

I asked, “Can I help you?”


Use a comma while marking off any sentences or clauses for a pause:

If I go to Istanbul, I will visit Topkapi Palace.

When you came to the house, we were watching TV.


Don’t use a comma when an adverb clause (such as when, after, since, while, before) follows the main clause:

I will visit Topkapi Palace if I go to Istanbul. (True)

I will visit Topkapi Palace, if I go to Istanbul. (Wrong)

We were watching TV when you came to the house. (True)

We were watching TV, when you came to the house. (Wrong)


Use a comma while addressing a person:

Tom, come here please!


Use a comma while marking off a connector or conjunctive adverbs such as (however, therefore, then, in fact, consequently, for example):

In spite of cold weather, we went outside.

In fact, it’s not a real solution for this problem.

For example, this is one of the reasons.


Use a comma so as to separate main clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, so, nor, yet):

It’s raining, but I will go out. (True)

It’s raining but I will go out. (Wrong)

I like drinking milk, and she likes, too. (True)

I like drinking milk and she likes, too. (Wrong)


Use a comma for appositives and descriptive titles:

Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic, was born in 1881.


The Question Mark (?)


Use a question mark after a direct question:

What time do you get up in the morning?

Are you happy?


The Colon (:)


Use a colon while introducing a quotation:

M. Kemal Atatürk said: “Peace at home, peace in the world.”


Use a colon for a number of items:

We have to buy the following items for the kitchen: potatoes, onions, and some salt.


The Semicolon (;)


Use a semicolon so as to separate coordinate sentences, or use for conjunctive adverbs:

I have never been abroad; therefore, I can’t speak English fluently.

Football is a famous sport in Europa; however, it’s not so popular in the USA.


Quotation Mark (“”)


Use this mark for quotations.