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The punctuation family

The punctuation family

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The punctuation family

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  1. The punctuation family Adult Literacy curriculum links Rs/E3.3 Use punctuation and capitalisation to aid understanding (a) understand that different punctuation marks are used for different purposes and know their names, including: speech marks to mark off what a speaker says from the surrounding text; commas to separate words in a list, or parts of a sentence; bullet or numbered points to make lists or series of instructions clearer Ws/E3.4 use punctuation correctly (e.g. capital letters, full stops, question marks, exclamation marks, commas). (a) understand that these (full stops, question marks and exclamation marks) are the complete family of sentence boundary markers used in continuous text written in complete sentences (b) understand when commas are needed in sentences (e.g. to separate items in a list), and that commas should not be used in place of full stops new sub-element Rs/L1.2 Use punctuation to help their understanding (c) secure knowledge of end-of-sentence punctuation and commas in helping make sense of continuous text Rs/L2.2 Use punctuation to interpret the meaning and purpose of texts (a) understand that certain punctuation is used for particular purposes in some text types, e.g. colon, dash, hyphen, semicolon, brackets in lists, leaflets, brochures Ws/L1.3 Punctuate sentences properly, and use punctuation so that meaning is clearWs/L2.4 Punctuate sentences correctly, and use punctuation correctly (e.g. commas, apostrophes, inverted commas) Ideal for underpinning Functional Skills English (FE) L1 FE Ensure written work includes generally accurate punctuation / spelling and that meaning is clearL2 FE Punctuate written text using commas, apostrophes and inverted commas accurately June 2011. Kindly contributed by Alison Hastilow, Leicester Adult Education College. Search for Alison on

  2. The punctuation family

  3. . : ; , Homer represents the full stop. The daddy. The strongest. Bart is the colon. He’s not as strong as the full stop. Lisa is the semi colon. She’s stronger than a comma. And Maggie is the baby comma, the weakest of them all.

  4. The full stop Strong enough to end a sentence. Shows when an idea has finished. Capital letter needed next.

  5. The colon A pause to introduce something. Not strong enough to end a sentence, so no capital letter needed next. The rainbow has 7 colours: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

  6. The semi colon Links, contrasts or balances two related ideas within 1 sentence. A pause between 2 parts of a sentence that could stand alone. I love doughnuts; my sister hates them.

  7. The comma Not strong enough to end a sentence. Can separate 2 parts (clauses) of the same sentence. Also used to separate items in a list. Even though I love doughnuts, my sister hates them. To be a good teacher you need to be creative, resourceful and patient.