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The Period is the longest pause-a full stop. It marks the end of a sentence, and shows the sense complete; as, The sky is blue'. Pause the time of counting six, and let the voice fall.


The Interrogation is used at the end of a question; as, Is the sky blue'? If the question can be answered by yes or no, the voice rises; if not, it falls; as, Where is your map'? Pause the time of counting six.

The Exclamation denotes wonder, surprise, pain, or joy; as, O'! what a sweet rose'! Pause the time of counting one, after a single word, and let the voice rise; but after a complete sentence, pause the time of counting six, and let the voice fall.

The Colon is a pause shorter than the Period; as, The sky is clear: the sun shines. Pause the time of counting four, and

let the voice fall.

The Semicolon is a pause shorter than the Colon; as, The rose is fair'; but it soon fades. Pause the time of counting two, Sometimes the voice should rise, as the

and let the voice fall.

sense may require.

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The Comma is the shortest pause; as, Jane goes to school', and learns to read. Pause the time of counting one, and keep the voice up.

The Dash denotes a sudden pause or change of subject; as, I saw him-but what a sight! When the dash is used after any other pause, the time of that pause is doubled.


The Apostrophe has the form of the comma.

It denotes the possessive case; as, John's book; also, that one or more letters have been left out of a word; as, lov'd for loved.

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The Quotation includes a passage that is taken from some other author or speaker; as, John said: "See my kite."

( )

The Parenthesis includes words not properly a part of the main sentence; as, I like these people (who would not?) very much. The words within the parenthesis should be read in a lower tone of voice.

[ ]

The Brackets inclose words that serve to explain the preceding word or sentence; as, James [the truthful boy] went home.


The Caret shows where words are to be put in that have been omitted by mistake; as, Live peace.

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The Diaresis is placed over the latter of two vowels, to show that they belong to two distinct syllables; as, aërial.

The Hyphen is used to connect compound words;xas, Well-doing or the parts of a word separated at the end of a line.

The Index points to something special or remarkable; as, Important News!

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The Ellipsis shows that certain words or letters have been purposely omitted; as, K**g, k. . g, or k—g, for king.

The Paragraph denotes the beginning of a new subject. It is chiefly used in the Bible; as,

The same day came to

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The Section is used to divide a book or chapter into parts; as, § 45.

The Asterisk, the Obelisk, the Double Dagger, and sometimes other marks,* refer to notes in the margin.

*For instance: the Section mark, §, and the Parallel, J.

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