Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “punctuation mark”

punctuation mark

noun [C]    
a symbol used in punctuation : Full stops , commas , semicolons , question marks and brackets are all different types of punctuation mark .Punctuation Grammar:PunctuationThe most common punctuation marks in English are: capital letters and full stops, question marks, commas, colons and semi-colons, exclamation marks and quotation marks.Grammar:Punctuation: capital letters (B, D) and full stops (.)We use capital letters to mark the beginning of a sentence and we use full stops to mark the end of a sentence:Grammar:Punctuation: question marks (?) and exclamation marks (!)We use question marks to make clear that what is said is a question. When we use a question mark, we do not use a full stop:Grammar:Punctuation: commas (,)We use commas to separate a list of similar words or phrases:Grammar:Punctuation: colons (:) and semi-colons (;)We use colons to introduce lists:Grammar:Punctuation: quotation marks (‘…’ or “…”)Quotation marks in English are ‘…’ or “…”. In direct speech, we enclose what is said within a pair of single or double quotation marks, although single quotation marks are becoming more common. Direct speech begins with a capital letter and can be preceded by a comma or a colon:Grammar:Punctuation: dashes ( – ) and other punctuation marksDashes are more common in informal writing. They can be used in similar ways to commas or semi-colons. Both single and multiple dashes may be used:Grammar:Punctuation: numerals and punctuationIn British English the date is usually given in the order day, month, year.Grammar:Saying email and internet addressesGrammar:Symbols and typographic conventions
(Definition of punctuation mark noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of punctuation mark

Definitions of “punctuation mark” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

chef

a skilled and trained cook who works in a hotel or restaurant, especially the most important cook

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More