Use of Punctuation Marks
Several punctuation marks have ranges of use that differ from the way they are used in English, though some functions may overlap.
- ， The comma is used to join together clauses that deal with a certain topic or line of thinking. As such, what would appear to an English speaker to be a comma splice is very commonly seen in Chinese writing. Often, the entirety of a long paragraph can consist of clauses joined by commas, with the sole period coming only at the end. Unlike in English, a comma is allowed between a subject and its predicate.
- ？ The question mark is used as in English, with the additional function of being used with indirect questions. Examples: "Whether he was of legal age? was the key question." "I was wondering where you went?"
- ； The semicolon is frequently used to demarcate parallel structures in a paragraph.
- 「...」 Quotation marks, in addition to being used around quotations, are also commonly used for emphasis and to indicate proper nouns and titles.
- —— The use of a second em dash to close a parenthetical thought is rare. Instead, a comma is usually used, or sometimes no punctuation at all.
Read more about this topic: Chinese Punctuation
Famous quotes containing the word marks:
“It has come to be practically a sort of rule in literature, that a man, having once shown himself capable of original writing, is entitled thenceforth to steal from the writings of others at discretion. Thought is the property of him who can entertain it; and of him who can adequately place it. A certain awkwardness marks the use of borrowed thoughts; but, as soon as we have learned what to do with them, they become our own.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)