The 15 Punctuation Marks in Order of Difficulty

but first…

Punctuation Differences Between British and American English



Americans tend to write Mr., Mrs., St., Dr. (Includes a period)

British will most often write Mr, Mrs, St, Dr, (The period is omitted)


10:30 (American English uses a colon)

10.30 (British English uses a period)


In British English, “( )” marks are generally referred to as brackets, whereas “[ ]” are called square brackets and “{ }” are called curly brackets.

In American English “( )” marks are parentheses (singular parenthesis), “[ ]” are called brackets, and “{ }” can often be called curly braces.


The big difference between British and American punctuation involves quotation marks and final punctuation.

In a nutshell, the British put everything outside the quotation marks unless it’s part of the quote, whereas  the  Americans put everything inside the quotation marks.


“I’ve finished the laundry,” said Dan. (American)
“I’ve finished the laundry”, said Dan. (British)
Dan said, “I’ve finished the laundry.” (American)
Dan said, “I’ve finished the laundry.” (British)

In both styles, question marks and exclamation marks are placed inside the quotation marks if they belong to the quotation and outside otherwise.

The 15 Punctuation Marks

Please check out this great infographic from The Visual Communication Guy. Now you know why the comma is so difficult to use compared to the other punctuation marks.



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