How Well Do You Know Your Punctuation Marks?

Kennita Leon

Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Punctuation is necessary! It adds clarity to and understanding the written language written. If punctuation did not exist, we would not know when to stop, pause, add emphasis and do a host of other things when reading. When we were younger, we were taught the most common punctuation marks, like commas, periods, question marks, exclamation points, hyphens, and apostrophes. 

But we're taking it a lot further. We want to know if you can recognize the not-so-common ones like the guillemets, em-dash, diastole, asterism and double quotation marks. Although they're not used very often, at one point in time, they were extremely useful. 

We've even added some punctuation marks used in other languages. We've gone to India, Japan, China, Greece, Armenia and even Sri Lanka. We've taken some of their marks, so you shouldn't be surprised if you see some things you just aren't familiar with. But don't worry, we've added hints for every question that you can use if you ever get stuck. 

So, do you know enough about punctuation to recognize all of its marks and points? Will you make your English and literature teacher proud? Or will you go on a permanent detention? Let's find out?  

Which punctuation mark is this?

The hyphen, which should not be mistaken with the dash, is a punctuation mark used to link words and isolate syllables of a single word.

Which punctuation mark is this?

This punctuation mark, which is used to indicate irony in text, was introduced in 1966 by French poet Hervé Bazin.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The comma is a punctuation mark used to separate parts in a sentence, such as lists or clauses.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Also known as the interabang, this modern, non-standard glyph is a combination of the question mark and the exclamation mark.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Invented, copyrighted, and trademarked by Paul Sak, this punctuation mark is used to emphasize a sarcastic phrase, sentence or message.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Similar to the SarcMarc, this glyph is used to point out sarcasm which may be hard to convey in writing.

Which punctuation mark is this?

As its name suggests, this backward question mark was used at the end of a rhetorical question throughout the late 1500s and the early 1600s.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Illustrated as an upside down question mark, this glyph, mainly used in Spanish, is used to begin an interrogative sentence or clause.

Which punctuation mark is this?

One of Hervé Bazin's six proposed punctuation marks, this one is represented by two question marks (one of which is mirrored) that share a single point.

Which punctuation mark is this?

An ellipsis is a group of dots, usually three, used to intentionally omit a word, sentence or portion of a sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Due to the right to left transcription of Arabic, Persian, and Urdu languages, the question mark is written backward in comparison to its English counterpart.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The colon, comprised of two equally-sized vertical dots, is used between independent clauses: the second of which explains, expands, illustrates, and paraphrases the first sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The question mark, also referred to as the interrogation point, query or eroteme, is a mark of punctuation used at the end of an interrogative phrase or sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The ano teleia mark, also known as the áno stigma, is the modern Greek counterpart of the English semi-colon which is used to introduce lists.

Which punctuation mark is this?

This punctuation mark serves several purposes, most commonly as marking the end of a sentence. It is also placed after abbreviated words, or after each initialized individual letter.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The en-dash is a variant of the dash punctuation mark used to indicate a span or range of dates, number or time.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Armenian counterpart of the exclamation mark is depicted as a diagonally rising tilde graphene.

Which punctuation mark is this?

In English, this punctuation mark is used to indicate the exclusion of letters or numbers, denote possession, and the expression of pluralization.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The doubt point, which opposes the certitude point, was created by Hervé Bazin to end a sentence on a note of skepticism.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Guillemets, also referred to as angle quotes, are non-English quotation marks depicted as single or double sideways chevrons.

Which punctuation mark is this?

This punctuation mark is used to set apart major elements of a sentence or may be used in place of a comma when separating items in a list.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The em-dash, also called the m-rule, is a variation of the dash. It serves several purposes, including in place of a set of brackets or a colon.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The glyph for this punctuation mark is represented by two exclamation points, one straight and the other slanted, shared by a single point.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Parentheses, which are considered separate from brackets in American usage, are generally used in formal writing to include additional information.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The colon is considered an appositive colon when it is used to set apart the subtitle of a work from its main title.

Which punctuation mark is this?

As its name suggests, this punctuation mark which combines the question mark and the comma, is used to indicate a query without ending a sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Hervé Bazin's authority point is used to denote an opinion of expertise which should be taken seriously.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Double quotation marks, also known as inverted commas, are generally used in British practice to enclose a quotation within a quotation.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Armenian full stop, officially called the verjaket, are two vertically stacked dots which resembles the Latin colon.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Also referred to as the interpoint or middle dot, this ancient Latin punctuation mark, depicted as a vertically situated dot was used for interword separation.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Greek question mark, which appears similar to the semicolon, is placed at the end of a sentence to imply that a question is being asked.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Also called squiggly brackets or brace, this type of bracket is used to group words to avoid confusion when other brackets are being used.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Another of Hervé Bazin's creations, this punctuation point was used to indicate unwavering conviction in texts.

Which punctuation mark is this?

This type of bracket, also known as crochets, is primarily used to insert explanatory information or to denote omitted information.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Japanese full stop, which is depicted as a small circle, is often used to separate continuous sentences, rather than finishing every sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The inverted interrobang, which is frequently used in Spanish writing, may also be expressed separately as a question mark and exclamation point.

Which punctuation mark is this?

This blend of square brackets and parentheses is used in some East Asian languages, particularly for inference in Chinese and titles and headings in Japanese.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The poorna viraam, used in the Devanagari script, is a vertical line used to mark the end of a sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Now nearly obsolete, this punctuation mark, depicted as a group of three asterisks placed in a triangle, was used to divide sub-chapters in books or to indicate small breaks in a long text.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The vertical bar was the ancient European equivalent of the slash and was used as a period, scratch comma, and caesura mark.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The double hyphen, not to be mistaken with the equal sign or other variants of the hyphen, is a punctuation mark composed of two parallel hyphens.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Chinese variant of the ellipsis consists of six dots, or two groups of three dots, which may be written horizontally or vertically.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Single quotation marks are primarily used to enclose direct speech, a quote, or phrase within a sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

In the Urdu language, the full stop or period is represented by a small low dash at the end of the sentence.

Which punctuation mark is this?

Angle brackets, also known as Chevron, serve many purposes such as denoting words that are thought rather than spoken.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Kundaliya is the only punctuation mark in the Sinhalese language and is illustrated by this sign (෴).

Which punctuation mark is this?

The slash, of which there are several variants, is a punctuation mark used to represent inclusion or exclusion, fractions and division, and separation dates.

Which punctuation mark is this?

The Arabic comma, also used in Persian and Urdu languages, is depicted as an inverted and upside-down version of the standard comma.

Which punctuation mark is this?

This alternative of the dash is commonly used in dictionaries in place of a word previously defined.

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