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  • Hi. Welcome to www.engvid.com again. My name's Adam. Today, I'm responding to some requests

  • for punctuation lessons. So, today's lesson is about punctuation. I'm going to focus on

  • the period, the exclamation mark, and the question mark. Now, you're thinking: why am

  • I beginning with these three? Because these are the ends of sentences. Right? These always

  • come at a very specific point in the sentence, always at the end, always with a clear purpose.

  • What is the purpose? A period ends a sentence. Seems simple enough, everybody knows this.

  • Correct? But it's not that simple. Many, many times I've seen students writing and not putting

  • the period in the correct place. What...

  • Another thing you have to remember about the period is what comes after it is always a

  • capital letter. Okay? Many people forget the capital after a period. A period ends a sentence

  • which means it ends a complete idea. Whatever comes after the period is already a new idea.

  • Of course, one idea flows to the next idea; one idea builds on the previous idea, but

  • they are two separate ideas. When you have completed your sentence, when you have completed

  • your idea - put a period. And British people call this: "a full stop". Same idea, means:

  • full stop, done, next idea. Okay? With a capital letter. Always don't forget the capital letter.

  • Or never forget the capital letter. Okay?

  • Another thing to remember about the period is that once you have a sentence with a complete

  • independent clause and you don't have another independent clause with a conjunction, "and",

  • "but", "so", "or", etcetera or a semi-colon-this is a semi-colon-that means your sentence is

  • finished. If you have two independent clauses in a sentence and you don't have the conjunction,

  • you don't have the semi-colon, means you have a run-on sentence. Okay? A "run-on sentence"

  • is a sentence that has two subjects, two verbs, no spacing, no conjunction, no period. Okay?

  • Let's look at an example of a run-on sentence. "Stacey and Claire went shopping at the mall

  • with Ted and Alex they bought new clothes." Does this sentence seem okay to you? If it

  • does, there's a problem. Okay? We have "Stacey and Claire" as your subject-sorry, this is

  • a "v" actually-"went shopping at the mall". Where? "With Ted and Alex". With who? This

  • is a complete idea. "Stacey and Claire went shopping at the mall with Ted and Alex." Your

  • idea is complete, this is what they did.

  • Now, at the mall, what did they do? "They bought new clothes." I put a period, I put

  • a capital. I have to separate ideas, therefore, two separate sentences. Now, is there any

  • other way I can fix this? Of course. I can put a comma after: "Alex," I could put the

  • word: "and they bought", in which case, that sentence is fine. "And" joins two independent.

  • So, every time you're writing... Punctuation, of course, is for writing, not for speaking;

  • we don't see punctuation in speaking. Every time you write, check your sentences. If you

  • have two independent clauses, means two subject, subject, verb, and then subject, verb. If

  • you have two of these, two combinations of subject and verb without a period between

  • them, without a conjunction, without a semi-colon - you have a run-on sentence. Okay?

  • Just to make sure, here's another sentence. I'll take this away. Something came before.

  • "As a result," -of whatever came before-"the police evacuated the tenants of the building

  • they thought this would be safer." Oh. "The tenants of the building they thought

  • this would be safer." Wait a minute. What's going on? Where does the sentence end? Where

  • does the idea end? What's the next part of the sentence? Okay? "The police evacuated".

  • Who? "The tenants". Which tenants? "Of the building". Okay? "The building they thought

  • this", no. Okay, "The building that they thought this", no, doesn't make sense. So this must

  • be the next subject, "they thought". Who are "they"? The police. "They thought". What?

  • "This would be safer." So now, I need to put something here. I need to break up these two

  • sentences because they're two separate ideas. This sentence explains why they did the action

  • in the first sentence.

  • So, how can I do it? One way, I could put the period. Put a period, the idea ends, it's

  • complete. I'm going to the next idea, beginning with a capital "T" for "They". Another way

  • I can do is put this. I'm not... Don't worry about a semi-colon today; I'll explain that

  • another time. But this is one other way to split up two sentences, "; they thought",

  • because it's a direct connection, "; they thought this would be safer." Another way

  • is to put "because". "Because they thought this would be safer." "This" being evacuated

  • the tenants. Right? The situation. Okay, so there are three ways you can fix this. Okay?

  • So you don't have a run-on sentence.

  • So that's the whole idea of the period. Make sure when your idea is complete, when your

  • independent clause is complete and finished, and you're starting a new independent clause,

  • put a period to finish the first one. The reader understands: "Okay, this idea is finished.

  • I'm getting ready. Okay, give me the next idea. I'm ready for that." Okay? Or join them.

  • Okay? To get one full compound sentence which we'll talk about another time as well.

  • Let's look at the exclamation mark. Okay? Okay, so now we're going to look at the exclamation

  • mark and the question mark. The thing to remember about these: they work just like the period,

  • meaning that they end the sentence, they end the idea. Question mark I think is pretty

  • clear; everybody knows this. There must be a question involved. We're going to look at

  • that in one second.

  • Let's look at the exclamation mark, it's short and sweet, to the point. An exclamation mark

  • shows emotion. Okay? It could be shock, surprise, etcetera. Could be anger or it could be a

  • command. "Stop!" We use an exclamation mark; it's a very strong expression. Subject "you",

  • verb "stop". "Stop!" Now, sometimes we can use an exclamation mark with a question mark.

  • It's called an interrobang, but you don't need to worry about that word. I just like

  • to say it, interrobang, sounds kind of neat.

  • "Why are you doing this to me!?" I'm showing... I'm showing emotion; I'm a little bit angry,

  • a little bit upset, but I'm also asking you a question. Like: "Why are you doing this?",

  • "Why are you doing this to me!?" Angry, shocked. Anyway, you get the point.

  • Now, the thing about the exclamation mark is that you should rarely use it. Many students,

  • many native, non-native English users, they like to use an exclamation mark. They think

  • every time they're making a strong sentence, they need to show that it's a strong sentence,

  • but you don't. If you write a clear sentence, a very direct statement - that's enough. You

  • can use this, but make sure that it is necessary in that situation. Even novelists, creative

  • writers who have to show emotion in their writing, even they rarely use exclamation

  • marks. And when you do use it, it's that much more powerful. Okay? So try not to use it.

  • Especially in academic writing, you have no reason to use it. Okay? You're not showing

  • emotion in academic writing. In more creative writing, you can use it, but sparingly. Means

  • not very often. "Wow!" Okay, put an exclamation mark. But at the end of a sentence, a period

  • works just as well.

  • Now, the thing about a question mark: make sure there's a question. Okay? Let's look

  • at this example here: "What happened last night?"

  • This is a question. First of all, if you hear it, it goes up at the end. You're asking a

  • question: "What happened last night?"

  • "What happened last night should not have happened."

  • Okay? So be careful. This, what we have here... What is this? This is a noun clause, this

  • is the whole thing is the subject to the verb: "should not have happened". Okay? Make sure

  • that you understand. Even if it looks like a question, make sure there is actually a

  • question there.

  • How do you know there's a question? The subject and verb will be inverted. Right? As in here:

  • "Are you coming?" This is a question. The verb comes before the subject and there's

  • going to be a question. So let's look at this sentence:

  • "Are you coming to the Party at Linda's house, it'll be fun."

  • Okay? If I'm speaking, maybe the question mark, you might not hear it because I want

  • to stress this point more. But is there a question here: "Are you coming to the party

  • at Linda's house"? Yes. So this, again, is what we call a run-on sentence. I don't want

  • a comma here, I want the question mark. There's a question, the sentence is pretty much finished.

  • Interrogative sentence, it's a question, but it's still a sentence. And here, I want the

  • capital "I": "It will be fun. Are you coming to the party? Come, come. It'll be fun." Right?

  • Two separate ideas, each has its own punctuation.

  • So there you have it. Period, exclamation mark, question mark for punctuation, for writing.

  • If you're not clear about all of this, come to www.engvid.com; there's a quiz, you can

  • practice this a little bit more and ask all the questions you need. Okay? See you again soon.

Hi. Welcome to www.engvid.com again. My name's Adam. Today, I'm responding to some requests

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A2 sentence exclamation mark exclamation period question mark question

Learn Punctuation: period, exclamation mark, question mark

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    Susy posted on 2014/09/17
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