Learn when to use less used punctuation marks

Everyone is familiar with the most commonly used punctuation marks: the comma, the period, and the question mark. However, many people do not use the semicolon, colon, hyphen, parentheses, bracket, ellipsis, and slash when typing as much as they do with other punctuation marks. One reason could be not knowing when to use these less used punctuation marks. Another reason could be that there are other punctuation marks that can work in basically the same way, if not better, in a sentence. Still, a third reason may be that it is easier to avoid these punctuation marks to avoid misusing them.

Whatever the reason, here are some simple, easy-to-remember tips for when to use these less-used punctuation marks:


The semicolon is used to join two independent clauses. (Independent clauses are just two complete sentences that are closely related in meaning.)

The semicolon is used to join two independent clauses when used with a conjunctive adverb such as however, consequently, in addition, in addition, meanwhile, or otherwise; or with a transitory phrase such as, for example, as a result, in fact, or otherwise.

The semicolon is used to join two independent clauses that contain a comma.

The semicolon is used to join a series of phrases or clauses that are long or contain commas.


A colon is used to introduce a list, an apposition, or a quote, when the words before the colon are an independent clause.

A colon is used after a phrase such as the following or the next.

A colon is used to separate a title and a subtitle.

The colon is used with hours, minutes and seconds.

Colons are used in chapters and verses of the Bible.

Colons are used in note formats and for formal business letter greetings.


The dash is used to interrupt a sentence to add information and draw attention to the information.

The dash is used to highlight a definition, an apposition, an example, or a contrast.


The parentheses (always used in pairs) are used to interrupt a sentence to add information but without emphasizing what the parentheses enclose.

Parentheses are used to enclose letters or numbers of listed items in a sentence.


The bracket is used to include changes made to the cited material or to add explanations and clarifications to the cited material.

The bracket is used to enclose a short material in parentheses in parentheses.


Ellipsis (a set of three spaced dots) is used to show omitted words or punctuation from a cited source. Use a sentence completion period after an ellipsis when it falls to the end of a sentence.


The bar is used to separate lines of poetry from a cited source.

The bar is used to indicate fractions.

The bar is used to separate and / or.

Anyone who has found ways to avoid using these less used punctuation marks because there were other punctuation marks that worked better, knowing when to use them correctly was problematic, or they were just easier to avoid, will find these simple tips will help. make writing easy and hassle free. No more avoiding punctuation marks that could make your writing a powerful means of communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *