In this blog article I'll begin to acquaint (or reacquaint) you with lots and lots of punctuation.
No, please don't run away!
I'll try and make it as painless as possible.
But, yes, there are lots of punctuation marks that are necessary to help make sense of written English. For example, the sentence I always used to explain commas was this one:
"The man sat under the tree eating his dog next to him licking his lips."
Really?!?! Eating a dog?!?
You can see that a few well-placed commas can be useful in understanding that the man was not really eating his dog.
Is this better?
"The man sat under the tree eating, his dog next to him licking his lips."
OK, you can see that the sentence obviously needs a verb to describe what the dog was doing.
"The man sat under the tree eating, his dog LAY next to him licking his lips."
Now that's much better isn't it?
But I hope my point of using commas is well made. They are used to separate ideas or a list of things, such as countries, names, toys, fruits, etc.
You can see lots of other punctuation marks in this post. And I shall explain them in coming posts. Be sure to come back to learn more about punctuation. You will see them on your keyboard too. You might know how to use them but do you know what to call them?
That's my job - to teach you the names of punctuation marks in English.