During the translation process, sometimes maybe we will ignore some little details which should not be made as a professional translator.

It’s important to know the rules of English punctuation when you write, as using the wrong punctuation may lead to misunderstandings. Using the correct punctuation is especially important when you are writing to impress.

Here is a guide to the rules for using the more common punctuation marks in English.

When to use capital letters

1.At the beginning of the sentence

2. For the personal pronoun “I”

3. For “proper nouns”

– names and titles: Sarah, Mr Stevens, Doctor Roberts

– places and countries: London, England,

– nationalities and languages: He is French, She speaks Italian

– companies, products and brands: Microsoft, Coca Cola

– institutions: The Ashmolean Museum, The Department of Trade

– religions and religious festivals: Christianity, Ramadan

– abbreviated names: The BBC

4.For books, television and radio programmes, newspapers and magazines

5.Days of the week and months of the yea

6.Historical periods or events

7. Rivers, mountains and lakes and geographical regions

8. In addresses

Read Also: Translating beyond Words

When to use commas in English

1. To separate items in a list

We need coffee, tea, sugar and milk.
*British English writers do not normally put a comma before “and”, although in American
English, a comma can be used.

2. To separate clauses which are related in meaning

Do you know the answer, or should I ask Tony?

*Where the clauses are short, commas are not used:
“I was tired so I went home.”

3. After introductory phrases

Unfortunately, I cannot send you the information.

4. Before and after a word or phrase that interrupts the main clause

Some children,if they are gifted, attend special schools.

5. Before and after non-defining clauses

The factory workers, who were in a meeting, decided to accept the pay offer.
= All the factory workers were in a meeting.

*Compare with a defining clause (which restricts the noun).

6. To show millions, thousands and hundreds

5, 890, 2811
10, 050

When to use a full stop (or “period” in American English)

1. At the end of the sentence

Thank you for your letter.

2. As a decimal point

2.5%, $9.99.

When to use a colon

1. To introduce a list

You will need to bring the following: a waterproof jacket, a change of clothes, a battery-operated torch and some matches.

2. To introduce explanations

There is one thing to remember: the nights can get cold, so bring a warm jacket.

3. To write the time

The 10:40 train to London is late.

4. Between the title and subtitle of a book

Shakespeare: The Complete Works

When to use a semi-colon in English

Semi-colons show a pause which is longer than a comma, but not as long as a full stop. Short clauses which are related in meaning can be separated by a comma. However, if the clauses are longer, you will probably need a semi-colon:

We’ll need to hold some meetings abroad with our suppliers; please could you check your availability in April.

1. To separate long items in a list

Our writing course includes several components: correspondence, including
letters and emails; style and vocabulary choice; punctuation; layout and planning.

2. To give balance to sentences, or to link parallel sentences

We went out for the day; they stayed in.

When to use an apostrophe in English

1. With an s to show possession

The company’s profits.

2. To show abbreviation

I don’t like smoking. (= do not)