Punctuation need not be mysterious or problematic. The number of punctuation marks is small, and once mastered, they become tools that help shape your meaning and vary the rhythms and patterns of your sentences.
Commas, periods, and apostrophes are three basic marks you can't get along without. Quotation marks, also, are often necessary. First master those four, then move on to the others.
Our language, unlike German and a few others, uses capital letters sparingly; and usually writers who have trouble with capitalization use too many rather than too few capital letters. Of the guidelines below, the two general ones are the most important. The others, while worth studying and learning, can be considered special conventions because their use is limited to a relatively small number of specialized situations.
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