The types of punctuation that can make a difference to the meaning of a sentence include end punctuation marks such as periods, question marks and exclamation marks. Commas and quotation marks also impact the meaning and intent of a sentence.
End punctuation is important because it indicates whether the sentence is a statement, a question or an excited statement. Without end punctuation, there is no way to know where one sentence ends and a new one begins. A period is used at the end of a statement, a exclamation point is used for a statement that expresses emotion and a question mark is used when a question is asked. Quotation marks are placed around direct quotes, and end punctuation is placed within the quotation marks. Without using quotation marks, it is hard for a reader to determine that a quote is being made.
Commas are also important and impact the meaning of a sentence. Commas are placed within sentences to indicate series lists, pauses, and separate introductory word groups from the rest of the sentence. Comma's are used to signify interrupting clauses in the middle of sentences. Commas are also used in dates, to separate the month and day from the year.