Correct punctuation and the use of good grammar is fundamental to comprehensive written and spoken communication.
“The writer who neglects punctuation, or mispunctuates, is liable to be misunderstood. … For the want of merely a comma, it often occurs that an axiom appears a paradox, or that a sarcasm is converted into a sermonoid.” ~ (Edgar Allan Poe, “Marginalia.” Graham’s American Monthly Magazine, February 1848)
Punctuation is essentially the use of marks in written language to separate a passage into sentences, clauses and phrases- each inferring a particular meaning. This makes the correct use of punctuation imperative because incorrect use can drastically alter the intended meaning- causing confusion and misinterpretation. The ability to use appropriate punctuation is also synonymous with a perceived eloquence, intellect, capability and standard of education. Given the clear correct and incorrect use of punctuation, it forms a useful and clear-cut standardised basis for selection of certain individuals over others (for example, in an entrance exam or job interview session).
With more text being used in emails, text messages and online than ever before, punctuation is a necessary skill that is used and valued by all.
Grammar is the basic foundation for communication, regardless of language. The better the use of grammar, the clearer the message and the higher the likelihood of understanding the message’s intent and meaning. That is what communication is all about.
Students often struggle with English punctuation principles and grammar rules. The correct use of capital letters, the location of quotation marks, commas, apostrophes and colons- all of which are frequently confused. So too are the grammatical principles involving homophones, pronouns and double negatives.
Our 3P Learning Literacy Team have created some printable large classroom posters, outlining the most common punctuation and grammatical challenges in English. These are designed to help students remember and practice these principles.