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List of symbols (punctuation) in Italian and how to use them

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List of symbols (punctuation) in Italian and how to use them

Hello everyone. I am studying linguistics at a university in Italy, and I really like this class because I can learn about the differences and similarities between Japanese, my mother tongue, and Italian, which I have been self-studying since I was in junior high school. This time, I will explain to everyone what I learned at university in an easy-to-understand manner.

What is a punctuation mark?

Punctuation mark (English: punctuation mark) is a general term for descriptive symbols used to describe languages, and is a term used exclusively for typesetting such as fonts. Specifically, punctuation marks, question marks, parentheses, accents, etc.

As mentioned above, it is written on Wikipedia, but I will explain it today.
Some articles are in Italian, so if you want to read in Italian, please change the language of the blog to Italian before viewing.

Why symbols exist in sentences

Why do punctuation marks, question marks, exclamation marks, and other symbols exist?
The answer exists in the written word (scritto) to reproduce the feeling, breathing and intonation of the person who wrote it. These symbols make us feel like words are breathing. In elementary school, we learn to hold your breath at a reading point and take a break at a full stop. I learned that there is a one-second rest where there is a comma, and two seconds where there is a full stop.

Italian symbols

Semicolon (punto e virgola / 😉

Used to mark sentence breaks. A semicolon is used in place of a large separator comma when followed by a comma. For long sentences with many commas, semicolons are sometimes used instead of colons.

Esempio: Suonare il violino una volta ci annoiava; ora ci rende felici.
Ha dedicato la sua vita a diventare un buon giocatore di baseball; ora è uno dei principali giocatori di baseball negli Stati Uniti.

Colon (due punti / 🙂

Colons are also used before quotations and examples, and are also used to indicate times. For example: “13:55” However, in Italy, semicolons are sometimes used instead of colons to indicate the time.

Esempio: oggi il tempo era bello, soleggiato, caldo e il cielo era azzurro e ci siamo divertiti molto a visitare la città.
Ho 20 anni, sono giapponese e amo l’Italia.

Example: Today the weather was beautiful, sunny, warm and the sky was blue and we had a lot of fun visiting the city.
I am 20 years old, I am Japanese and I love Italy.

Comma (virgola / ,)

Similar to Japanese reading marks, they are used when you want to have a short break in a sentence. It is also used when you want to say “I will use it in this sense” for sentences where the meaning is different depending on where the comma is placed.

Esempio: Prezzo: 15€
Sono le 14:22.

Example: Price: 15 €
It’s 2:22 pm.

question mark (punto interrogativo / ?)

As you can see, it is used when asking questions. It’s the same as Japanese.

Exclamation point (punto esclamativo / !)

As the meaning suggests, it is used to express surprise or excitement. It’s the same as Japanese.

ellipsis (puntini di sospensione / …)

It is used in the same way as the Japanese three-point reader. It is used when the sentence that follows is self-evident, or when you don’t want to say it on purpose. It is also used in Italian to abbreviate long quotations. There is also an addiction commonly referred to as “three-point leader syndrome”, which is often used in Japanese, but it is not used so much in Italy.

Esempio: non ho mai sentito la frase ‘Vivo per soldi’, no, ma in alcuni casi… no, non lo so nemmeno io… più ci penso, più capisco È sparito, e sono solo attaccato dall’ansia e dalla paura di essere completamente cambiato. (Citato dall’opera di Osamu Dazai “No Longer Human”)
Non c’è amore più grande di quello che un uomo dà la vita per il suo amico. Siete miei amici se fate quello che vi comando. […] Non hai scelto me. ti ho scelto. e ti sistema. affinché tu vada e porti frutto, e che il tuo frutto rimanga, e che qualunque cosa gli chiedi nel mio nome, egli te la dia. (Citato dal Vangelo di Giovanni)

Example: I’ve never heard the phrase ‘I live for money’, no, but in some cases … no, I don’t even know … the more I think about it, the more I understand It is gone, and I’m just attacked by anxiety and from the fear of being completely changed. (Quoted from Osamu Dazai’s “No Longer Human”)
There is no greater love than what a man gives his life for his friend. You are my friends if you do what I command you. […] You didn’t choose me. I chose you. and settles you. so that you go and bear fruit, and that your fruit remains, and that whatever you ask him in my name, he will give you. (Quoted from the Gospel of John)

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