For example, let’s take these two sentences:

Let’s eat, Grandma!

And

Let’s eat Grandma!

A simple, little comma can change this sentence from telling your Grandma to put food on the table to becoming a cannibal. The first sentence (with the comma) is simply an imperative telling Grandma that it is time to eat. The second sentence implies that the speaker is saying to the other people that they should eat their Grandma. Hopefully that is not what you mean when you say this sentence.

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As another example, take these two sentences:

My brother who lives in Japan is a good footballer.

And

My brother, who lives in Japan, is a good footballer.

The first sentence is using a defining relative clause and implies that the person has more than one brother and the one who lives in Japan is the good footballer in the family. The second sentence is a non-defining relative clause and tells me that the person only has one brother and gives me some extra information that he lives in Japan along with the main part of the sentence that he is a good footballer. The clause between the commas is not entirely necessary, but is still useful information.

The proper use of full stops is also very effective in making your writing more interesting to read. Writing sentences full of commas which go on for four lines can become confusing and boring to read. Make sure that you clearly define where one thought ends and another thought begins.

Take these two examples:

I went to the beach yesterday and I went swimming, had some lunch, went shopping afterwards; later that night I went out to dinner with some friends, went dancing and then I went home, and I took my dog for a walk and then went to bed.

Or

I went to the beach yesterday. We had a swim and then went for some lunch. Afterwards we decided to go shopping. Later that night I went to out dinner with some friends. We went dancing after that and then I went home. I took my dog for a walk before going to bed.

I think the second version is a lot easier to read and we can clearly see where the breaks are in the day. It just makes your writing much more interesting to read.

As you can see, the correct use of punctuation can have a dramatic effect on how your sentence is read by your readers. However, we can also see how the incorrect use of punctuation can also confuse the reader or maybe even convey the wrong idea to your reader rather than the one you originally intended.

K. Charles

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