Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Honor Thy Punctuation Marks

Many thought that punctuation do not actually bear any points in the writing exams of any English proficiency examinations. In an IELTS course and TOEFL review classes, students are often reminded to use punctuations appropriately as they are important. Candidates for these examinations even get a deduction from punctuation errors.

ielts Review

Punctuation is important for both TOEFL and IELTS examinations. To avoid confusion and misuse of the punctuation, here are a few rules to remember when using these marks in your sentences.

COMMAS ( , )

a. Use commas to separate independent clauses in a sentence. 

The game was over, but most of the teams were still in the field protesting about the results.
There are a lot of women working nowadays, so there are a few men who stay home to take care of their children. 

b. Use commas after introductory words, phrases, or clauses that come before the main clause

In 1985, there is a significant rise in the population of American-Indians in that region. 
When television was introduced to humans, they found another mean of recreation. 

c. Use commas when items are in a list of three or more items 

I have to go to the supermarket to buy some apples, oranges, pears, and peaches. 
She woke up, washed her hair, made some toast, and drove to the park.

COLON ( : )

a. Use colons after a complete statement in order to introduce one or more directly related ideas, such as a series of directions, a list, or a quotation or other comment illustrating or explaining the statement

The IELTS and the TOEFL tests have four different sections: reading, listening, speaking, and writing. 
The strategies given were ineffective: problems started emerging and it made the project a failure


a. Use a semicolon to join related independent clauses in compound sentences.

My mom woke up late; I was not able to eat breakfast. 
Jane was not able to finish the project; she was given the lowest score in the class. 

b. Use a semicolon to separate items in a series if the elements of the series already include commas

The members of my band include Roger, drummer; Michael, vocalist; Ramsey, bassist; and Janice, violinist. 
I always watch these TV series: Supernatural, paranormal; How to Get Away with Murder, crime; and 2 Broke Girls, comedy. 


a. To form possessives

I went to my brother’s room and saw him playing a guitar. 
My mother took so long to find the ladies’ room that she became lost in the department store

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