Punctuation, what is its goal ?

That's a good question ! But... uh... what's "punctuation" in fact ?

This is the lesson we learnt today with our new teacher, Solange.

Boring ? Not at all ! You'll see, with Solange, it's very interesting ;-)

First, she explained that punctuation is all the writing marks except the letters of the alphabet.

The best known are :

  • point .
  • comma ,
  • semicolon ;
  • question mark ?
  • exclamation mark !
  • dot dot dot ...
  • two points :
  • quotation marks " "
  • brackets ( )

Now, what's its goal ?

Well, Solange said it gives the rythm to a text, just like music.

But she added that it also helps to :

  • breath,
  • express things,
  • present things.

She said punctuation marks are breaths and breaks during the reading.

Indeed, what would happen if we don't make breaks while we are reading a text ?

It's simple, we would get out of breath very quickly and we wouldn't understand anything of the text.

To read properly and relax, Solange learnt us that we must follow the rythm of the tex, that is to say to respect the punctuation marks which tell us when to breath and make breaks. But for this, we need to know more about marks...

The point :

It is placed at the end of a sentence. It is a stop which allows breathing before reading the next sentence.

Example:
My name is
Séraphine. breathing I am mad about stories and snacks.

The comma :

It is used in a sentence for a short break.

Example:
Welcome to Séraphine, short break mad about stories and snacks.

The semicolon :

It is used in a sentence to make a little longer break than the comma and to separate two informations interrelated.

Example:
Séraphine has lost her chef hat yesterday ; break luckily she has found it today.

Punctuation marks also help to express things :

Some marks are used in special cases.

The question mark :

It is placed at the end of the sentence to express a query, that is to say to ask a question. The tone of the voice (called intonation) rises at the end of the sentence.

Example:
What are you cooking today
, Séraphine ?

The exclamation point :

It is placed at the end of the sentence to express a feeling (joy, anger, surprise...) or to give an order. The tone of the voice rises at the end of the sentence.

Example:
Séraphine's cookies are delicious !

The dot dot dot :

It is placed at the end of the sentence to express hesitation, doubt or to avoid to quote an entire list of things.

Example:
I gave invitations to all my friends
 : Emma, Boris, Manon, Grégory, Lucie...

Punctuation marks also help to present things :

The two points :

They are placed in the sentencese before to present a list, an idea or an explanation.

Example:
For my recipe, I used the following ingredients
 : flour, sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate chips.

The quotation marks :

They surround a common sentence or quote, that is to say something someone said.

Example:
Great-auntie Bertille always tells me after every snack : "Go and wash your hands !".

The brackets :

They surround an information we want to add in a sentence.

Example:
Today
, I cleaned the kitchen faster than usual (only 10 minutes).

You know everything about my lesson now, my friends ! And you ? What did your schoolteacher learn you today ?

Point d interrPoint d exclam

I have to go. There is something else than school in life ! My cookies with chocolate chips are waiting for me near a large glass of lemonade, you see. Mmm...

See you soon,

Séraphine

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