Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody! My name is Alisha. In this lesson, I'm going to talk about vocabulary words for symbols on English keyboards. I'm also going to give an example sentence that uses each of these vocabulary words. So, let's get started!
Let's begin on this side of the whiteboard.
The first symbol I want to talk about is this symbol
It's a dot, yes. This dot is not in the middle of the line. The dot appears here. So, this is called a "period," a period. A "period" comes in this position here, as in "Use a period at the end of a sentence." So, in English writing, we place the period, this dot mark, here. You'll find this on English keyboards everywhere. This is how we use the period.
Another very common mark is the "comma," the comma.
So, commas are used in the middle of sentences, usually, or they might come near the beginning of a sentence. We use a "comma" before a coordinating conjunction. So, if you want to know more about exactly when to use commas, please search our EnglishClass101 YouTube Channel or our website to find the video about how to use commas. So, when a comma appears in a sentence, it looks like this, usually. So, here, this is very, very easy to see, I think, but in the middle of a sentence, a comma appears like this. So, here, I would not, it's not correct to use a comma right here, but in a sentence, it looks like this.
Okay. Let's move on to the next word.
The next word is "colon," colon.
So, these two dots, one on top of another, this mark is called a "colon," a colon. So, use a colon before a list, for example. So, if I want to make a list, I would make my "colon" like this and then I list item 1, item 2, item 3, for example. This is one way to use a "colon," a colon. This is the mark for it. So again, it's not correct. I haven't made this sentence to be a list, but that's how it would look in writing. So, we use colon sometimes before lists.
Okay. The next mark here is very, very similar to the colon. This is a dot and under it, it looks like this comma. This is called a "semicolon," a semicolon. So, we use a semicolon to connect independent clauses. So, independent clauses are two, like individual ideas. So, this is a full sentence, a full idea, and another full sentence, a complete idea. We can connect those with semicolons. For example, "Use a semicolon to connect independent clauses." Semicolon, use a period (blah, blah, blah), as I said up here, use a period at the end of a sentence. So, if I want to connect this idea and this idea together, I can do that with a semicolon and I don't need to use a coordinating conjunction. So again, these are some punctuation-related rules. For more information about that, please take a look at the other videos on our channel. So, this is a semicolon, a semicolon.
Okay. Let's move on to the next one.
The next mark, this mark looks just like the comma, I know, but the positioning of this mark is important. This mark is called an "apostrophe," apostrophe. This word is pronounced apostrophe. So, in a sentence, we would say, "Never use an apostrophe to make a word plural." Never use an apostrophe to make a word plural. So, we use apostrophes to show possession. So, for example, if I want to say something belongs to me or someone wants to say something belongs to me, I use an apostrophe before the S there. That shows it's something belonging to Alisha. The apostrophe looks like this, just a quick dash, a quick mark between the last letter of my name and an S, so this shows possession, something belongs to me. We use an apostrophe to show possession, so it looks like this. On a keyboard, the mark may look like this, but it appears above the letters. Please note that a "comma" appears on the line where the letters rest, kind of, like where the comma or, I'm sorry, where the period appears. A comma appears there. An apostrophe appears above the letters.
Okay. Let's move on to our next mark then.
The next mark, this is a mark that comes in a pair. That means there's a set. These are called "quotation marks," quotation marks. So, use quotation marks to show dialogue. Dialogue is, for example, when you're reading a story and Character A says something, Character B says something. We mark the characters' speech with quotation marks. So, when the character begins speaking, we use these "open quotation marks." When the character finishes speaking, we use these "closed quotation marks." So this helps the reader understand where the speech starts and where the speech stops, so this makes reading much easier. These are called "quotation marks," quotation marks. To be very specific, these are "double quotation marks." You can see there are two lines here. When you're making, in some specific situations, you're making a, like a quotation inside a quotation, this is a very specific situation, when you do that, you'll use single quotation marks. These look like apostrophes a little bit. So again, that's for very specific situations. In most cases, you only need to use the regular double quotation marks.
Okay. Let's move on then to the next list of items.
The next list starts here with this "hyphen," hyphen.
So this is a very short mark, a very short horizontal dash. Please keep in mind, there are a couple of other dashes that we use in English writing, but you don't find those typically on keyboards or they're not as commonly used from the keyboard. A "hyphen," however, is on the keyboard. We use hyphens to connect words. So connect words with a hyphen. So in a word or a phrase like "free-for-all," we connect "free," "for," and "all" together with hyphens. Hyphens come between the words. So, there are some rules for when to use hyphens, but the mark, for today's lesson, this mark is called a hyphen, a hyphen.
Okay. let's go to the next one.
The next word is "slash," slash.
You may see this direction, you may see the other direction too, slash on the other direction. Most commonly, we see the slash in this direction. So a "slash" is commonly used online. Slashes are common in URLs. So, URLs, those are like the website names, the names that we type in to go to websites. So, "slashes" are common in URLs. It's also very common in programming too.
Okay. Our next vocabulary word, again, it's a pair. These things are called "parentheses," parentheses. So, as I talked about with quotation marks, when we use "parentheses," we need to use them in a pair. This one, just as with quotation marks, this one, that's shaped like this is called the "open parenthesis." This is used when we begin sharing some extra information. This one is called the "closed parenthesis" mark, the closed parenthesis. We use this when we finish sharing extra information. So as I said, we use parentheses to give extra information. So maybe, it's not the most important point, but we want to share a little bit of extra information in our sentence, we can put "parentheses" around that information, that shows that it's just kind of extra. So, "open parenthesis," "closed parenthesis," these are very commonly used and you can find them easily on most, I think, English keyboards.
Okay. Let's go to the next mark.
This mark is called "ampersand," ampersand.
You might, I suppose, here people call it the "and" mark because we use an ampersand in place of "and." So, if you want to describe something that is like a law firm or an organization, and there's an "and" in the title of that, in many cases, like to save space, you'll see this used in place of "and." So for example, "Company A &Company B," instead of writing "and" in the middle, they might use ampersand. So, this is up to kind of the company or the person's choice or sometimes, it's just to save space, but this is called an "ampersand."
Okay. Onward, to the next mark.
This mark has become very important with the rise of social media. We call this "at" or the "at mark." So, we use the "at" mark in email addresses. So, for example, "yourname@gmail.com." So we use, "at" to describe this mark. We also use this in social media handles, for our usernames on social media. Before our username, we use the "at mark." So, that means that's how you can reach that person. This also, interestingly, becomes a verb, as in, "@me your information" or "please don't @me" which means like reply or don't tag me in something. So we use "at" or "at (mark)" to describe this.
Okay, one more in this part of the list.
This mark here, this is called the "pound sign" or the "number sign." So, we use the "pound sign" before a phone number. This is very commonly used before a phone number, so you might see it or you would have seen it in like an old phonebook, for example. However, I should note that this is also read these days as "hashtag," hashtag. So when you see this in social media posts, especially on, like Instagram or Twitter, when you see this mark plus a word, so for example, this mark plus English, it should be read as "hashtag English." So in that case, we do not read it as "pound sign" or "number sign English." It's read as "hashtag," so those are tags for the thing that you are sharing. That's a different use of it. So in today's English, in today's very internet-driven vocabulary, we use "hashtag" to mention or to describe this mark.
Okay. Let's go to the last list, the last part of the list, rather.
This is called an "exclamation point," an exclamation point or an "exclamation mark."
"End the sentence with an exclamation point to show surprise!" So when we end a sentence with this mark, it means we should read it with, like, a more excited voice or we should read it with an exclamation! So, for example, when I read this sentence, I could use that excited tone of voice, like, "End the sentence with an exclamation point to show surprise!" That's the feeling of using an exclamation point. So, you might see this used a lot on social media to show surprise or to show shock or maybe if someone is scared, they would use an exclamation point to describe that.
Okay. Another very important mark is the "question mark," the question mark.
In English, we end questions with a question mark. We do not begin questions with any kind of question mark. The question mark is at the end of the sentence only. End the question with a question mark.
Okay. The next symbol is this, the star symbol. This is called an "asterisk (*)," an asterisk."
So, it's quite difficult to say this word, even for native speakers, "asterisk." Some people might call it a "star," that's okay, but this is called an "asterisk." So we use asterisks sometimes for notes. So, you might see this very small mark at the end of a sentence or maybe at the end of a word, especially in a book. We don't see this so much in, like social media, but you might see this at the end of a sentence or at the end of a word. You see this little star mark, this asterisk mark, and oftentimes at the bottom of the page, or at the end of the chapter, there is a note about that sentence or about that word. So, we match this asterisk to an asterisk at a different place on the page that has more information in a short note. So, this is a common way that we use asterisks in English writing.
Okay. The next two are like math-related symbols.
This mark, we usually just call it the "plus," plus.
We might call it like the "plus sign" or the "plus mark," but in most cases, we just say "plus" when we see this symbol, "plus." So, use plus for more specific searches. So, I wanted to include this because this is a really helpful thing that you can use when you're doing a Google search for information. Same thing with "quotation marks." So, if for example, you want to search for something specific, let's say, for example, you want to know how to find a lesson about present perfect tense, and you want it to be a lesson about English present perfect tense, if you want to look for this, on Google, specifically, you can put in quotation marks, "present perfect tense," so that means you want to search for this phrase exactly, and you can include the "plus mark" to show you want to include something else. So, "present perfect tense," this phrase, plus, maybe English or another phrase or maybe Advanced English, for example. So, using a "plus" can help you to make more specific searches. So you want your search results to be something that's about present perfect tense and Advanced English. So, using "plus" can help you do that, making your searches a little bit more specific. Of course, you can also use this in math, plus.
Okay. Next one, as I said, also, a math-related mark.
This is the "equals (mark)" or just "equals."
In most cases, we read this as "equals," equals. So, we use the "equals (mark)" in math. We show the solution to something or like the end result of something with the "equals (mark)." So sometimes, we don't always use just math with this, like for example, in some social media posts, people might describe their day and say, for example, "friends + sunshine + delicious food = great day." So, it's kind of like a math situation, but we use plus (+) and equals (=) to show these things together equals or has the result of something. So you may see this used in social media a lot.
Okay, the last item for this lesson is this.
So again, this is another pair. These are called "brackets," brackets.
So you can find these on English keyboards, yes. Perhaps from this list, they are the least commonly used. We use "brackets" for extra information inside parentheses. So, I talked about parentheses here. We use parentheses to give extra information. But sometimes, it's not so common, sometimes, inside the parentheses, we want to give even more extra information. To do that, we use "brackets" inside the parentheses. So we need to clearly show, like the hierarchy. So this is first-level extra information. Second-level extra information is with "brackets," brackets." So again, we have this open bracket and a closed bracket. We need to use this in pairs. So, brackets go inside parentheses. This is one way to use this.
Okay. So, this is an introduction to some, I think, very useful everyday vocabulary. These are all very common, fairly common. Maybe this is the least common, as I said. These are all common symbols that we use pretty much every day, when we're using the computer, when we are emailing people, when we are using social media and so on. These are also things you can notice as you are reading books.
So the rules that I talk about in this lesson are also applied to books. Sometimes the rules are a little bit different, depending on if the thing you're reading is like a magazine or a newspaper. Some different types of writing follows slightly different rules, but in general, this is a fairly good guideline for how you can use these symbols as well and the vocabulary words for them, the names of these symbols.
So, I hope that this was helpful for you. Thanks very much for watching this lesson and I will see you again soon. Bye-bye!

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