Using English for Academic Purposes – Punctuation

Title: Punctuation

Author:Andy Gillett, UEfAP

Full Text & Source:

Sample Text:

The sentence and the full stop

The full stop is the most important punctuation mark. It shows the end of the sentence. The English language also uses capital letters at the beginning of sentences.

For example:

The first schools in what is now British Columbia were established by the Hudson’s Bay Company in about 1853 on Vancouver Island. The present public school system originated with the Public School Act of 1872. Education is free and compulsory for children ages 7 to 15. Schools are funded by the provincial government and local property taxes. The province’s 75 school districts are administered by locally elected boards.

The comma

The comma is the most important punctuation mark after the full stop. Its main use is for separating parts of sentences. Commas function in five main ways:

1. Before or after adverbial clauses and groups.

2. Before various connectives to join two independent clauses.

3. To separate some non-defining phrases from the rest of the sentence.

4. To separate words, groups and clauses in a series.

5. To separate adjectives that separately modify the same noun.

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