These activity sheets will teach your students how to identify and use punctuation correctly.

What is absolutely amazing is that these little swiggles make sense to every human that can speak the English language. How did they get everyone to agree that a question mark was in fact a question mark? It all started in third century BC when three consecutive dots were proposed to remedy run-on sentences. Using the correct punctuation adds clarity to your writing, making it easier to understand. The following collection of worksheets will help your students practice using the correct symbols as they are needed. Activities include completing sentences with the correct mark, adding commas in the correct place within given sentences, writing original sentences and using commas correctly according to the specific prompts, punctuating given sentences correctly, differentiating between colons and semicolons, rewriting given words using apostrophes, and more.

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Printable Punctuation Worksheets

Click the buttons to print each worksheet and answer key.

Enders Worksheet

Sentence Enders

Every sentence ends with a punctuation mark. Use a period (.) at the end of a statement. Use a question mark (?) when you ask a question.

Commas and Quotations Worksheet

Commas and Quotation Marks

Read each sentence. Add commas where necessary.

Comma Quiz

Comma Quiz

Write a sentence in which a series of three adjectives modifies a noun. See if you can choose the correct form of punctuation needed at each stage.

Exercise Worksheet

Worksheet Exercise

Add punctuation to each sentence as needed. Make sure to carefully examine each sentence.

Appositives Worksheet

Using Commas with Appositives

An appositive is a phrase that provides clarifying information about a noun. A pair of commas separate the appositive from the rest of the sentence. The appositive can be removed, and the sentence still makes sense.

Colon or Semicolon Worksheet

Colon vs. Semicolon

Read each sentence below. Does it use the correct punctuation? Write correct or incorrect on the line. Then, rewrite the incorrect sentences on the back of this page, using the correct punctuation.

The Big Quiz

Big Old Quiz

This will help you see where you are at with your punctuation skills, at the sentence level. If you do well here consider working at the paragraph level.

Comma Quiz

Comma Quiz

Put a check mark in front of the sentence that uses commas correctly. You may need to double check your work once you place them.

Spot Worksheet

What Marks The Spot?

Read each sentence below. If it is a question, put a question mark (?) on the line. If it is a statement, put a period (.) on the line.

Apostrophes Worksheet

Using Apostrophes

Apostrophes are used to show that letters have been left out of certain words. With an apostrophe, you can turn two words into one.

Parentheses Worksheet

Using Parentheses

Brackets, also known as parentheses, provides information that is additional to the sentence.

Ellipsis Worksheet

Using the Ellipsis to Omit Text

An ellipsis is a series of three dots ( . . . ) which shows that some text has been left out. Use the ellipsis to shorten a long quotation. The text that is omitted doesn't change the meaning of the quotation, and the reader can still understand the quotation without it.

Dash Worksheet

Dashes

Dashes indicate a change in direction in a sentence. They are stronger than a comma, but not as strong as a period.

Exclamation Worksheet

Exclamation Points

An exclamation point takes the place of a period at the end of a sentence. It signals strong feeling, excitement, or command.

Run-on Sentences Worksheet

Correcting Run-on Sentences By Punctuating

A run-on sentence is two or more complete sentences that are punctuated as one long sentence.

The worksheets located on this page basically cover just about every commonly used punctuation mark there is. If you are looking for materials on specific forms of punctuation, we also have work on using commas, quotations marks, and proper capitalization. These can be very helpful as you learn to proofread your own work and that of others. I always recommend that you read the words aloud when you are editing it brings it to life more and can help you spot mistakes quicker. If you can find one that we miss, please let us know and we'll put those together for you.

What are the Rules of Punctuation?

Punctuation marks are like traffic signals for writing. They tell the reader when to pause, when to speed up, and when to stop. In other words, they help control the flow of reading.

Without punctuation marks, writing would be chaotic and hard to follow. With them, however, writing can be smooth and coherent. That’s why punctuation is important!

Here are some of the common rules of punctuation:

1. Commas ","

1. Use a comma to separate items in a series.

E.g., I have three sisters, two brothers, and a cat.

2. Use a comma after an introductory word or phrase.

E.g., In the morning, I like to eat breakfast cereal.

3. Use a comma to separate clauses in a compound sentence.

E.g., She likes to read books, but she also likes to watch movies.

4. Use a comma to separate independent clauses if coordinating conjunction does not join them.

E.g., I am doing laundry tonight, and I need laundry detergent.

5. Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, for, nor) to join two independent clauses.

E.g., I have a headache, so I will take some aspirin.

6. Use a comma after a closing quotation mark when the quoted material is a complete sentence.

E.g., "I am feeling stressed out," she said.

7. Use a comma to set off a nonessential clause or phrase.

E.g., The book, which I just read, was really good.

8. Use commas to set off interrupting words and phrases, such as however, still, nevertheless, yes, indeed, certainly, well, actually, of course.

E.g., She likes to exercise regularly. However, she finds it hard to get motivated sometimes.

9. Use commas to set off appositives.

E.g., My friend Paul, who is a musician, is coming over later today.

2.Period /Full Stops "."

A full stop (.) is a punctuation mark used to indicate the end of a sentence. It is also called a period.

The rules for using a full stop are:

1. Use it after a sentence fragment. A sentence fragment is a group of words that are not complete sentences.

For example, I wanted to go.

2. Use it after the salutation in a letter. A salutation is the opening line in a letter, such as "Dear Mrs. Smith."

3. Use it when writing abbreviated dates such as Jan., Feb., etc.

For example, on Nov. 3, 2017.

4. Use it after titles and honorifics before someone’s name, unless the title ends with Mr or Ms.

For example, Dr. Smith or Professor Jones, but Mr. Smith or Ms. Jones.

5. Use it at the end of a declarative sentence and imperative sentence. A declarative sentence is a statement or a command, whereas An imperative sentence gives a command or makes a request.

For example, The meeting is at 2 p.m.

6. Use it at the end of a sentence if there are quotation marks around the sentence.

For example: "We had such a good time," she said happily.

3. Question Marks "?"

1. Use a question mark at the end of a sentence that is asking a question.

E.g., Are you feeling better today?

2. Use a question mark in place of a period when indicating an interrogative sentence.

E.g., Do you like dogs or cats?

3. Do not use a question mark after an indirect question.

E.g., I wonder if he is ever going to call me?

4. Semicolon ";"

The rules of semicolons with examples are as follows:

1. Use a semicolon to connect two independent clauses related to each other.

For example, I love spending time with my family; they are the best people in the world.

2. Use a semicolon to separate two main clauses joined by conjunctive adverbs like however or in addition.

For example: She tried her best to finish the project on time; however, she failed.

3. Do not use a semicolon before the word because it is followed by an independent clause as this is already a complete sentence.

For example: Do not write: She didn’t study for the test; because she was too busy.

Ending Note

Punctuation is an essential part of writing, and it helps to clarify the meaning of a sentence. There are specific rules for using different types of punctuation marks, such as commas, semicolons, and full stops. It is essential to understand how to use these marks to produce clear, concise sentences that are easy to read.