(Xiao Mei’s mother has a farm, there is a white horse, a goat and a calf.)
Here we see three different punctuation marks; the first is ‘，’, the second is ‘、’ and the third is ‘。’. The first mark, ‘，’ (dou4 hao4) is a Chinese comma.
The second mark, ‘、’ (dun4 hao4), is used to separate items in a list. You can call it a ‘pause mark’ or ‘enumeration comma’. In English, you would use a comma or ‘and’ for this purpose; in Chinese, we either use the pause mark, ‘、’ (dun4 hao4) or the character ‘和’ (he2; and).
The last mark, ‘。’ (ju4 hao4), is the equivalent of a ‘.’ (full stop) in English. It is used to mark the end of a sentence.
Of course, those aren’t the only Chinese punctuation marks. Let me know if you want to learn more!
So, what are the new marks for today? There are THREE of them: （） (round brackets, aka parenthesis; yuan2 gua1 hao4), ： (colon; mao4 hao4) and 「」 (single quotation marks or Left/right corner bracket; yin3 hao4). The first two punctuation marks (yuan2 gua1 hao4 and mao4 hao4) are used exactly like () and : in English.
The third punctuation mark, 「」 (single quotation marks or left/right corner bracket; yin3 hao4), is similar to ‘’ (single quotation marks) and “” (double quotation marks) in English; they can be used for proper nouns, titles, quoted speech and sometimes for emphasis. One thing to note is that Western-style quotation marks are used in simplified Chinese, but traditional Chinese writing will use 「」.
Here is a summary of today’s Chinese punctuation marks:
1. （） (round brackets aka parenthesis; yuan2 gua1 hao4 圓括號/圆括号) is like ‘()’.
2. ： (colon; mao4 hao4 冒號/冒号) is like ‘:’.
3. 「」 (single quotation marks; yin3 hao4 引號/引号) are like ‘’ and “” in traditional Chinese