See how meanings change when a punctuation mark is used wrongly.


(1) I am sorry you can’t come with us.

(2) I am sorry. You can’t come with us.

Commas with interrupting phrases:

(1) The Democrats say the Republicans will lose the election.

(2) The Democrats, say the Republicans, will lose the election.

Commas with direct address:

(1) Call me fool if you wish.

(2) Call me, fool, if you wish.

Commas with compound clauses:

(1) Do not break your bread or roll in your soup.

(2) Do not break your bread, or roll in your soup.

Serial commas:

(1) This book is dedicated to my roommates, Oprah Winfrey, and God.

(2) This book is dedicated to my roommates, Oprah Winfrey and God.

Colons & commas:

(1) A woman without her man is nothing.

(2) A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Quotation marks & commas:

(1) “The criminal,” says the judge, “should be hanged.”

(2) The criminal says, “The judge should be hanged.”

Hyphens with compound words:

(1) I saw a man eating shark.

(2) I saw a man-eating shark.

Apostrophes with contractions:

(1) A clever dog knows its master.

(2) A clever dog knows it’s master.

Reproduced for Educational Purposes.