Grips german 10 rules of punctuation – made easy

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Why do you sometimes have to put a comma in a sentence and sometimes not?? What is the purpose of the comma, period, exclamation mark or question mark in a sentence?? Here are explanations, examples and the rules of punctuation.

Score: 10.08.2011 | Archive

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You probably know many punctuation marks that exist in German, for example dot (.), comma (,), colon (:) exclamation mark (!) or question mark (?). They must always be in a certain place in the sentence and have a certain function there, i.e. they give the sentence a certain meaning. The question now is: When do you have to use which punctuation mark??


This always applies!
After each sense unit comes a punctuation mark!
At the end of each sentence, you must make a punctuation mark!

  • Everywhere, where a sense unit ends and a new one begins, a punctuation mark must stand.
  • Everything that belongs to a verb forms a sense unit.
  • The verb can single-paragraph its.
  • Example: The player achieved a touchdown.
  • The verb can multipart its.
  • Example: The player would like a touchdown achieve.

Which punctuation marks can be placed at the end of a sentence?

These punctuation marks at the end of a sentence are also called punctuation denotes. You can distinguish between exclamation mark, question mark and period. Depending on the type of main clause you use, you must put the appropriate punctuation mark at the end:

Punctuation marks

Prompt: !

When you ask someone to do something ( = request sentence), you put after it exclamation mark!
Examples: Make! comma!

Exclamation: !

Even if you show your surprise, are annoyed, or cheer with an exclamation ( = exclamation sentence), there is a Exclamation mark!
Examples: You wimp! Oh man! Great, keep it up!

question: ?

When you ask a question (= interrogative sentence), you have to put after it a question mark make! The question can be asked with or without a question word.
Examples: Where is your friend? Do you come up with?

statement: .

When you make a normal statement in a sentence, you have to put a dot make!
Examples: Peter and Sabine are going to Berlin. You finish secondary school with a quali.

When to put a comma?

There are several reasons why you might need to insert a comma or more in a sentence. For example, the comma is necessary,

  • if it is a Enumeration is about several things.
  • if it is Sentence string acts.
  • around a Main clause of a Subordinate clause to separate.
  • if it is a Infinitive group it is.
  • if it is a Relative clause acts.

You want to know more? Then click here through the individual sections!

Here comes a comma!

When you list several things in a row, they are separated by commas. The last two things mentioned in the enumeration are followed by a and, as well as or a or connected and not with a comma.

Handball, volleyball, soccer and basketball are ball sports.
Peter makes the Quali in the subjects German, Math, English, Social, Ethics as well as AWT.

Sentence series
If you string two or more main clauses together, you get a series of sentences. And these main clauses are separated by a comma. Each of the two sentences could also stand as an independent declarative sentence.

Martin plays on the offensive. Peter in defense. (Are these two independent clauses? Yes!)
Martin plays on the offensive (main clause), Peter on defense. (main clause)

Main clause and subordinate clause: trailing subordinate clause
Main and subordinate clauses are separated by a comma. The main clause can stand alone. You can recognize the subordinate clause by the fact that it is introduced by a connecting word, a conjunction. Such conjunctions are for example because, but, for, while and so on.
Also, in the subordinate clause, the verb is always at the end of the sentence.

The boy had a stomach ache (main clause) , because he too much cake had eaten. (subordinate clause)
In a subordinate clause, the comma always comes before the conjunction.

Main clause and subordinate clause: preceding subordinate clause
In the preceding subordinate clause, the comma is at the end of the subordinate clause. This infinitive is separated by the Verb recognizable. Because this is almost always at the end of the subordinate clause!

While the second half ran, (subordinate clause) many spectators left the stadium. (main clause)

Main and subordinate clause: inserted subordinate clause
The subordinate clause can also be inserted into a main clause. Then at the beginning and at the end of the subordinate clause a Comma stand.

Petra has, although she has learned a lot, (subordinate clause) failed the test.

The infinitive group
An infinitive is the base form of the verb. You can always use a "too" before this basic form put.
to run, to sing.

If an infinitive stands alone in a sentence, you don’t have to separate it with a comma. However, if this infinitive is extended by several words, it is separated by a comma.
I hate to jog. (infinitive)
No comma, because "to jog" (main clause) was not described in more detail.

I hate, jogging on hard ground. (infinitive group)
Here you have to put a comma, because "to jog" with the addition of "on hard ground was described in more detail.

The relative clause
Subordinate clauses can also have a comma as an introductory word Relative pronouns have. Such subordinate clauses are called relative clauses.Relative pronouns are: the, the, that, which, which, which.
The spectators cheered the player, the was a crowd pleaser.
There are postpositive relative clauses.
The audience applauded the quarterback, the led the team to victory. (relative clause)
There is inserted Relative clauses.
The audience, that was enthusiastic, (relative clause) applauded the quarterback.

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