Full stop (.) The Full Stop is also referred to as a period or point or full point. The primary use of this punctuation mark (. ) is to make the end of a declarative sentence (one that states a fact) or an imperative sentence (one that gives a command or states a request). Use full stops with abbreviations. Do not use full stops with contractions. Full stop after a single word. If a sentence ends with a question mark or an exclamation mark, one does not use a Full Stop after this, as the question mark or the exclamation mark already contains a Full Stop within itself.
Comma (,) Use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more. Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the word and can be inserted between them. Use a comma when an -ly adjective is used with other adjectives. Use commas before or surrounding the name or title of a person directly addressed. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year and after the year. If any part of the date is omitted, leave out the comma. Use a comma to separate the city from the state and after the state in a document. Use commas to surround degrees or titles used with names. Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt sentence flow. Use a comma to separate two strong clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction--and, or, but, for, nor. Use the comma to separate two sentences. Use commas to introduce or interrupt direct quotations shorter than three lines. Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.
Question mark (?) A question mark is only used after a direct question. Eg: Will you go to town with me? Use a question mark when a sentence is half statement and half question. Eg: You do see, don't you?
Exclamation mark (!) Use the exclamation mark to show emphasis or surprise. Do not use the exclamation mark in formal business writing. Eg: I'm extremely shaken by your manners!
Quotation marks (“ ”) When a person or work is quoted directly and word for word, the “quotation” is placed in quotation marks. Question mark comes before quotation mark. Always place a comma or period before beginning or ending quotation marks. Always place a colon or semicolon after ending quotation marks. Begin a new paragraph with every change of speaker. Use quotation marks to set off the title of a short written work or parts of a longer work. Nonstandard or unusual slang terms are normally put in quotation marks. Explicit definitions of words or terms are put in quotation marks.
Slash (/) A slash is often used to indicate "or“. Use a slash for fractions. Use a slash to indicate "per" in measurements of speed, prices etc. People often use a slash in certain abbreviations. A slash is often used in dates to separate day, month and year. The slash is used to separate parts of a website address (url) on the Internet, and to separate folders on some computer systems.
Colon (:) Use the colon after a complete sentence to introduce a list of items when introductory words such as namely, for example, or that is do not appear. Use the colon to follow the salutation of a business letter even when addressing someone by his/her first name. Colon Used to Further Explain or Introduce a List. Colon Used with Ratios, Titles and Subtitles of Books, City and Publisher in Bibliographies, Hours and Minutes, and Formal Letters
Semicolon (;) Use a colon before a list when the list is preceded by a complete independent clause. Semicolon Used with Words Like 'however" and Phrases Like "for example". Semicolon Used to Join Two Complete Sentences. Semicolon Used to Clarify a List of Items When Each Item has Punctuation Within Itself
Dash (--) A dash is a long horizontal mark twice the length of a hyphen. Dashes are used to emphasize words or phrases. They are nearly like definite comments. To be effective dashes should not be overused. Dashes indicate an sudden change of thought. Sometimes they set off a section or phrase for emphasis or dramatic effect.
Ellipsis (…) The ellipsis is three periods in a row. It signifies that words or figures are missing. Most frequently an ellipsis is used with quotations. It may come at the middle or end of a quotation. It may be used at the beginning of a quotation if the quotation begins mid-sentence and there is an appropriate lead-in. In mathematics an ellipsis shows that numbers have been left out. This is usually used in decimals, series, and matrices.
Hyphen (-) A hyphen is a short horizontal line used within words. Use a hyphen between the tens and units number when writing out the numbers twenty-one to ninety-nine in words. Use a hyphen between the numerator and denominator when a fraction is written out in words and the fraction is an adjective. Use a hyphen after a prefix followed by a proper noun or proper adjective. Use a hyphen in words beginning with the prefixes all-, ex- (meaning "former"), and self- and in words ending with the suffix -elect. Hyphens are used internally in some compound words to separate the words forming the compound word. Examples: merry-go-round Hyphens within a word can make some words clearer. Hyphens are used to divide words at the end of a line when the word cannot fit on the remainder of the line.