58 SECTION 2 Word Groups and the Sentence SECTION 2 Word Groups and the Sentence 59 B Punctuation Remember Only direct questions end with a Punctuation is very important. We put punctuation question mark. This sentence is not direct and so marks in our writing to make it easier to read and doesn’t need one: understand. Correct punctuation can make all the I asked what went ‘Ha-ha plonk’. difference to meaning. These two examples have the same words but totally different meaning: Just to confuse you What do you think? I will feed you for nothing! If a questioning sentence is more of an (A good offer.) exclamation than a question, then end it with an What! Do you think I will feed you for nothing! exclamation mark: (Not such a good offer!) Who do you think you are! What about that! Ending a sentence Some other sentence endings are found less often: ● Direct speech (‘ or ”): When a sentence ends with direct speech (the actual words somebody speaks) then the quotation marks often end the Sentences sentence by coming after the punctuation mark: end with a She said nervously, ‘I’m just a harmless pupil. punctuation Why are you confusing me with all this mark. grammar?’ For more about the punctuation of direct speech, see page 66. ● Dash (–) A dash is used when someone is Jack and Emma . . . are friends! interrupted in mid-sentence either by another Almost all sentences are closed by one of the speaker or by a sudden thought, event, etc.: following: ‘The cabin’s on fire and the ship’s going to –’ ● Full stop (.): Abruptly, the commander’s voice ceased. A This sentence ends with a full stop and here it deathly silence spread over Mission Control. comes now. Notice that the dash replaces the full stop, which ● Question mark (?): is not needed. What goes ‘Ha-ha plonk’? ● Dots (…): Use three dots at the end of a ● Exclamation mark (!): sentence if you wish readers to imagine the rest What a fantastic joke! of the action, or to show that time is passing: Between us we swung the body of the murdered crook far out into the river. The evil eyes of an alligator glinted greedily… The posh name for these dots is an ‘ellipsis’.
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