English scoring guide - Video (2023)

1. End period (period)

A full stop is also called a period in American English. Use a period at the end of a complete sentence. Do not put a gap before menstruation; set one later. A full sentence can be short and simple, like this:

  • I arrived early.

A complete sentence can also be longer and more complex, like this:

  • Even though my train arrived late and I was sure it wouldn't arrive on time, I actually arrived a little early.

Be careful; the idea of ​​a 'complete sentence' is not flexible and depends on the grammatical structure of the sentence. For example, can you see the error in this sentence?

  • Winters are usually very cold there, temperatures can reach -40 degrees.

The first part, which ends with the word 'there', is a complete sentence. You cannot choose to put a comma and continue; you need a period or a semicolon, or you need to add a conjunction.

Learn about sentence structure and how to do itclausesin longer sentences it is important if you want to use English punctuation correctly. Periods are also used in some abbreviations – when you shorten words. There are three types of abbreviations.

A: abbreviations thatNeverhave periods, such as 'BBC', 'CIA' or 'UN'.

Two: abbreviations thatAlwaysuse periods, such as 'eg', 'ie' or 'etc.'

Three… wait, can you guess it? Some abbreviations are sometimes written with periods and sometimes without. For example 'mister', 'doctor' or 'AM' and 'PM' to talk about the weather. Titles, such as 'Mr', 'Mrs' or 'Doctor', are usually written without a period in British English and with a period in American English. In British English it is more common to write 'a.m.' and 'p.m.' in lowercase letters with a period. In American English, it is more common to use capital letters and no period. However, both forms are commonly used and you can choose which one you prefer.

2. Commas

Commas have three main functions. Two of them are very simple. First, use a comma to separate items in a list, like this:

  • Their house has two bedrooms, a large living room, two bathrooms and a terrace.

After each item on your list, put a comma. Use the word 'and' between the last two points in your list:

  • To do this, you need eggs, flour and sugar.

You can choose to put a comma before the 'e' or not. Both styles are possible! You must also use a comma with certainconjunctions, especially 'and', 'but', 'so' and 'or'. E.g:

  • You can ask her, but I don't think she will agree.
  • I won't be there until ten, so don't wait for me.

The last way to use commas is also the most complicated. Use a comma - or usually two commas in a pair - to add non-essential information to your sentence. What does "non-essential" mean? This means that you could remove the information and the sentence would still make sense and have the same basic meaning. This is common when you use an adverb or a linking phrase at the beginning of a sentence. E.g:

  • Apparently he has been suffering from depression for several years.

It's also common when you add extra information in the middle of a sentence, like this:

  • Yakutsk, located in northern Siberia, has the coldest winters of any city in the world.

Learn more about commas with this Oxford Online English lesson:how to use commas.

3. Colon

Columns have one main function: they provide examples, explanations or details. See an example:

  • Rapid urbanization has led to several problems: congestion, air pollution and a lack of affordable housing for families.

Here, the sentence before the colon mentions a general idea - different problems - and the sentence after the colon explains what those problems are. This is very common with a colon; you mention something general before the colon, then explain in more detail after the colon. Let's look at two more examples of this:

  • I can promise you one thing: you won't regret your decision.
  • He left all his money to his best friend in the world: his cat.

4. Semicolon

semicolonis more like a period. They are used at the end of a full sentence. So what is the difference? Using a semicolon shows that your ideas before and after the semicolon are connected. E.g:

  • He is so stubborn; it is impossible to convince him to change his mind a little.

Here you have two sentences, but they both talk about the same idea: him and his stubborn character. The semicolon emphasizes that the ideas are connected. You neverto needuse semicolons, but they can be very useful. Using semicolons is a very easy way to create connections between your ideas, which can help you write clearly and effectively. When you use semicolons, you don't need to use any conjunctions or connecting clauses. E.g:

  • Companies won't consider apps that feel rushed; it is better to apply to fewer companies but dedicate more time to each application.

However, there are some linking words that can be used with semicolons, such as 'however':

  • I don't regret it; however, would do things differently if given another chance.

5. Apostrophe

Like commas, apostrophes have more than one function, which can make them difficult to use correctly. Use an apostrophe in firstcontractionsto replace a missing letter. E.g:

  • She doesn't eat cheese.
  • You are right.

You also use an apostrophe to show that something belongs to a person:

  • Why are you wearing Dean's jacket?

You can even join multiple nouns together like this:

  • Her mother's cousin's son won a Nobel Prize.

What if the word you want to use already ends in 's'? Here's the rule: If 'et' after an apostrophe is pronounced, you must also write it:

  • We met at Boris' barbecue.

If you don't pronounce an extra 's', don't write one; just add an apostrophe to the end of the word, like this:

  • We could stay at my parents' house for a few days.

Finally, you generally don't use an apostrophe to write plurals. Even if you make a noun plural, for example: 'There were four ambers in my group', you do not use an apostrophe for plural. However, there is an exception to this. you know? If you need to make a letter plural, add an apostrophe like this:

  • How many m are there in 'accommodation'?

6. Hyphens

Hyphens are used to form compound words, especially compound adjectives. Compound words are words that are made up of two or more other words. E.g:

  • It is a six hour flight to Mumbai.

The adjective 'klocken seks' consists of the two words 'six' and 'hour', and you use a hyphen to connect the two parts. Here is another example:

  • It was surprisingly tasty for a five dollar meal.

However, the use of the hyphen in compound words is inconsistent and changeable. In general, the tendency is to use fewer hyphens, but there are some cases where you need to use hyphens every time. Compound words made with numbers almost always have hyphens. E.g:

  • They have a three-year-old daughter.

The adjective 'three years' is made with a number and always written with hyphens. You must also use hyphens when using certain prefixes, such as 'ex-' or 'self-'. Words with the prefix 'non-' are also oftenhyphen. For example:

  • His ex-wife was promoted and is now his direct manager.
  • Non-smokers often have to pay much less for health insurance.
  • Self-driving cars may become popular one day, but so far the technology is very underdeveloped.

If you add a prefix to a proper name or number, you must also use a hyphen, as in: 'anti-European' or 'politics after 1950'. Finally, you must also use a hyphen in compound numbers and fractions. For example: "three-quarters of the population" or "twenty-three". If you're not sure whether or not to use a hyphen in a number, just type the number.

7. Drag

Hyphens may look like hyphens, but they are not the same. First, there are two types of hyphens, called hyphens and hyphens. Dashes have a space on either side of the dashboard – like this. Dashes connect the words before and after - like this. You don't have to worry about it; both dashes and hyphens do the same job. Pick one and stick with it.

So what do you use dashes for? Dashes are used to add extra information to a sentence. Remember that commas can do this too. 'Extra' information means that you can remove the information from the sentence and it will still make sense. Dashes are preferred when the extra information does not fit well with the grammar or flow of the sentence. E.g:

  • He had escaped - or so he thought.

Whether or not something fits the 'flow' of your sentence is subjective. This means that you can often choose whether to use hyphens or commas to add some extra information to your sentence. E.g:

  • The number of stars in the Milky Way - including many that cannot be traced - is estimated to be over 400 billion.

Here you can replace hyphens with commas. Both versions are correct. However, we recommend choosing hyphens when you can. This is because hyphens only do one job, while commas can do multiple jobs. Using hyphens makes things clearer because your reader doesn't have to wonder why the punctuation is there.

8. Speech marks

There are two types of speech marks: single and double. They often do the same thing and it doesn't matter which one you use. However, we recommend that you use double quotation marks when quoting what someone has said. E.g:

  • He stood up and said, "I wouldn't do that if you paid me a million dollars."
  • "Being lucky is more important than being talented", were the first words of his speech.

You can put a comma, a colon or nothing before the quotation marks. It is more common to use a comma, but we recommend not using anything as it is more efficient. Whatever you choose, try to be consistent! There are also divided opinions about whether final punctuation—such as a full stop at the end of a quotation—should go inside or outside the speech line. Again, it doesn't matter; the most important thing is to be consistent. Speech tags can also be used in other ways.

See two examples:

  • Paying 100 euros for 'luxury economy' was not a good idea!
  • Many cities in the "special economic development zone" are almost ghost towns.

Do you know why you are using speech signals here? Speech marks can be used to express irony, sarcasm or skepticism. For example, putting 'luxury economy' in speech signals shows that there was nothing luxurious about air travel. In the second example, you put 'special economic development zone' in speech signals to express irony; if many cities are ghost towns, then clearly there is not much economic development there. You also use speech signals when you refer to words as words. What does it mean?

See two examples:

  • 'Millennium' is a hard word to spell!
  • Why did you use 'abundance' here?

Here the words 'millennium' and 'abundance' are used indirectly to refer to the words themselves rather than the ideas. In general, we recommend using double quotation marks to quote what someone said, and single quotation marks for everything else. However, you can see different styles.

9. Parentheses

Like commas and hyphens, parentheses can be used to add some extra, non-essential information to your sentence. Often the information in brackets is a date, name or statistic. E.g:

  • Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) was one of the most famous poets of the revolutionary era.
  • The proportion of people under 30 who engaged in regular physical exercise was lower (45%) than that of people over 45 (52%).

Using parentheses to add statistics and numbers is an effective way to add numbers and other supporting data to your writing. You can also use parentheses to show that your reader can choose how to understand what you are saying. E.g:

  • Write your suggestion(s) here.

By adding 's' in parentheses, you mean you can write one suggestion, or more than one, as you prefer. Try to avoid using parentheses to add longer ideas to your sentence. E.g:

  • The consumption of processed meat (which has been linked to many diseases, including colon cancer) is increasing in many parts of the world.

This is not a good example of using parentheses. It would be better to add the additional information using commas or hyphens. In that case, commas would be best.

  • The consumption of processed meat, which has been linked to many diseases, including colon cancer, is increasing in many parts of the world.

10. Question marks and exclamation marks

Question marks are simple to use; add them at the end of a direct question, like this:

  • What time is it?
  • How old are you?

Direct questions can be longer with more complex structure:

  • Can you tell me how to get to the train station?

But if you're reporting what someone else said, it's not a question and you shouldn't use a question mark:

  • She asked me how to get to the train station.

Exclamation points add some weight or emotion to a sentence. E.g:

  • It's so cold here!
  • There's a snake!

Unless you're writing something very informal, it's generally good to use exclamation points sparingly. Excessive use of them will render them meaningless. Like most end characters, you should not put a space before a question mark or exclamation mark, but you should use a space after it.

Thank you for watching!

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