8 Most Common Punctuation Mistakes To Avoid

Punctuation is the key in expressing through your text. It strengthens the structure of your text, and formation of your sentence. In order to create solid, and better expressing content, you should be carefully following the punctuation in your essay.

1.    Apostrophe:

Putting an Apostrophe in the wrong place is a mistake that is commonly committed by people. However, according to the rule, the use of apostrophe is to indicate possession. Thus we use apostrophe to indicate something belonging to someone.

Correct Examples:

  • The Buddhas quote.
  • My phone’s battery is dead.
  • The players’ socks (in plural case we put apostrophe after the s).

Incorrect Examples:

  • Shirt’s for sale
  • During the 1980’s

2.    Colon Mistakes:

Colon is always a thing that disturbs most of us. We use colon after completing a sentence in order to introduce a word, clause, or quotation. It indicates what follows the sentence or the things preceding.

Correct Examples:

  • We moved to New York for two reasons: the weather, and the job opportunities.
  • Jack had two hobbies: reading and writing.
  • He got what he struggled for: a gold medal.

Incorrect Examples:

  • We moved to New York for: the weather, and the job opportunities.
  • Jack had two: reading and writing.

He got what he struggled for: a gold medal to earn him huge acclaim.

3.    Comma:

Often you would see people throwing commas wherever they want unnecessarily.

Correct Examples:

  • You never went to the city because you didn’t feel comfortable in traffic..
  • I wanted a degree in either engineering or medicine.
  • Old cars have been left in a junkyard are an eyesore.

Incorrect Examples:

  • You never went to the city, because you didn’t feel comfortable in traffic.
  • I wanted a degree in either engineering, or medicine.
  • Old cars, have been left in a junkyard, are an eyesore.

Another thing to keep in mind, is putting the final comma in series.

Correct Examples:

  • Please go and buy potatoes, pickles, tomatoes, and mustard.
  • Shahid, Shafiq, and Sarfraz are from Karachi.

Incorrect Examples:

  • Please go and buy potatoes, pickles, tomatoes and mustard.
  • Shahid, Shafiq and Sarfraz are from Karachi.

Comma is also necessary after the introductory element.

Correct Examples:

  • In case you haven’t noticed, I have bought new shoes.
  • Before I had time to think about it, he jumped into the pool.

Incorrect Examples:

  • In case you haven’t noticed I have bought new shoes.
  • Before I had time to think about he jumped into the pool.

4.    Hyphen and Dash:

Whenever you see the horizontal lines between you would have often considered all the same. But there is a huge difference in the reasons behind their usage in the text.
Hyphen, is used in order to combine two separate words, thus forming a single thought.
Dash, indicates moving from one thought to another.

Correct Examples:

  • They build high-quality products.
  • An off-campus office.
  • I like apples – they taste so better.
  • I prefer a chocolate milk – it’s tastier than plain milk.

Incorrect Examples:

  • They build high – quality products.
  • An off – campus office.
  • I like apples-they taste so better.
  • I prefer a chocolate milk-it’s tastier than plain milk.

5.    Quotation Mark:

I have often seen people not using specific punctuation, or words because they don’t know about them. So here understanding the quotation mark’s use in the text is important.
With quotation marks there is also a confusion, where to put the punctuation if sentence’s to end with quotation mark.

Correct Examples:

  • He said, “I had a great day at office today!”
  • He enquired, “what bothers you?”

Incorrect Examples:

  • He said, “I had a great day at office today”!
  • He enquired, “what bothers you”?

6.    Semicolons:

Often I have seen people avoiding the need or the use of colon and semicolons. The reason behind this is that they don’t understand where to use them or the use of them in particular.
The real purpose of semicolons is the connection they create between the two independent clauses.

 Correct Examples:

  • Call him tomorrow; he will be having an answer for you by then.
  • When I finish here, I’ll be glad to help you; and that is a promise.

Incorrect Examples:

  • Call him tomorrow, he will be having an answer for you by then.
  • When I finish here, I’ll be glad to help you, and that is a promise.

7.    Sentence Sprawl:

Sentence can be difficult to be read, when it consists of heavy weighed phrases.

Correct Example:

  • Unexpectedly Jason was called for jury duty and couldn’t attend his friend’s June 30 wedding. He felt guilty about missing it.

Incorrect Example:

  • Jason was planning to attend his friend’s wedding on June 30, but at the last minute he found out he had jury duty, so he couldn’t attend the wedding, and he felt really guilty about it.

8.    Single Quote – Double Quote:

There has been a misconception noted among people, that single quotes are used for reflecting phrases, thoughts, or any specific information. But it is not the case. Single quotations are used inside the double quotations, when the person you are quoting is quoting something else.

 Correct Examples:

  • “Why will she call you a ‘disloyal companion’?”
  • She told me, “you are talking wrong things to the wrong person”

Incorrect Examples:

  • “Why will she call you a “disloyal companion”?”
  • She told me, ‘you are talking wrong things to the wrong person.’

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