As punctuation, the setting of punctuation marks or word signs is used to make the syntactic, substantive and morphological structure of a text clear. Originally the punctuation marks were set to signal speech pauses in the lecture or a written product. In Latin literature, there were low, medium and high points, which showed short, medium-length breaks and the end of the sentence. Since the Middle Ages the comma, Virgel and semicolon are occupied.
The term is derived from the Latin (interpunctio) and can be translated approximately with separation by points or also intermediate point. Consequently, the translation clearly points out what the punctuation is about, namely, the setting of points for the separation [and other punctuation marks to form a sentence syntactically]. Let’s look at an example.
Walther said, “I do not know!”, And went out of the room.
In the example above, there are five different punctuation marks used for the purpose of punctuation. In the sentence, there is the colon, the quotation marks, the comma, and the point at the end of the sentence. All these characters follow the German punctuation rules.
After the introduction of a literal speech, there is always a colon, without spaces. This is followed by a blank as well as the opening quotation marks, then the literal speech itself, which is ended by closing quotation marks. The punctuation marks of the literal speech themselves are preserved. If such a sentence continues, as in the example above, a comma must be set, with the sentence ending with the point. The punctuation rules help us understand.
(1) Come, we eat, Grandma!
(2) Come eat grandma!
In this example, the punctuation serves to clarify the meaning. If the commas are set (1), it is merely a request to eat, whereas in the second sentence the commas have been dispensed with (2) and are therefore prompted to eat their own grandma. Punctuation can save lives.
(1) Women think men are nothing without them.
(2) Women, men think, are nothing without them.
This is similar to the previous example. The punctuation marks change the fundamental statement of the sentence and are therefore indispensable for a correct understanding of the actual content. If the comma is set to think (1), the sentence expresses what women think it is placed after women and men (2), it includes the thoughts of men’s world. The punctuation thus determines the content.
Overview: The most important thing about the punctuation at a glance
Punctuation, also called punctuation, means the setting of characters to structure a text. The punctuation can thus make the syntactic, substantive and morphological structure of the text clear.
There are different punctuation marks that can fulfill this function. The most common are probably point, comma, question marks, quotes, space, colon, semicolon and the apostrophe. Rare come hyphen, dash, high point, slash, parentheses as well as the outlet points.
Note: The interrobang is listed in the overview above. This is not used in German and is otherwise hardly found in texts. Nevertheless, it is a punctuation mark.