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A punctuation Guide

Speech Marks

Speech marks are used to show words which are spoken (speech)

What are you doing? asked Stephen.

I’m doing my homework. replied Nicola

Always start a new line when a new person speaks.


Used for two reasons:

Possession – Jakes coat / Thomas bag

Contraction – You are = Youre / I am = Im

! Exclamation Mark !

This can be used to show:

A loud voice: “No!” she shouted angrily.

Strong feeling: Oh my god! I can’t believe it!

? Question Mark ?

Placed at the end of a sentence which is a direct question:

What are you doing?

Do you want some chocolate?

If the question is used in speech, a question mark is still used:

“What are you doing?” enquired Joe

“Do you want some chocolate?” asked Charlotte

, Commas ,


To separate words in a list: an apple, a banana, some strawberries and a melon.

After a connective: Later that day, she fell ill.

To add extra information: The man, who was tall and handsome, smiled softly at me.

In between sentences in speech: “I know,” she said, “I will do it.”


This can be used:

To indicate a pause: “hmm” she pondered.

As a ‘cliff-hanger‘: Suddenly

; Semi-colon ;

This can be used:

To join two sentences instead of a connective: I don’t like netball; I enjoy squash.

In a list, if the listed items include 3 or more words: Her folder contained a letter to her MP; a short story about a kidnap; three poems about her holiday and a study of Macbeth.

: Colon :

This is used:

To introduce a list: I am going to buy: some jeans, a t-shirt and some trainers.

Between a statement and an explanation: This time he’d win: he couldn’t afford to lose.

Subject Vocab Lists


Prefixes and Suffixes

Sentence types

A punctuation Guide

Reluctant Reader Tips

Spelling Strategies to try at home