Abbreviations & Punctuation

Common abbreviations and English Punctuation marks

Instructor: Mr. Michael Krigline, MA   ♦

I expect all of my students to understand these basic abbreviations in English

  • (adj): adjective
  • (adv): adverb
  • AmE: American English
  • ans: answer
  • ASAP: as soon as possible
  • avg: average
  • BrE: British English
  • [c]: countable noun
  • EFL/ESL: English as a Foreign Language/English as a Second Language
  • e.g.: abbreviation for “for example,” used to introduce an illustration or sample (from Latin: exempli gratia)
  • esp: especially
  • i.e.: abbreviation for “that is,” used to introduce an explanation (from Latin: id est)
  • LDOCE: Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (my favorite dictionary for English-learners; see our standards and uses page)
  • (n): noun
  • NPU, PKU, MIT, etc.: These are the abbreviations for university names. (You can usually substitute the abbreviation for any university.) These initials stand for Northwestern Polytechnical University (西北工业大学), Peking University (北京大学), and Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • RSVP: please reply/respond (from French)
  • sb: someone/somebody
  • sth: something
  • TEFL/TESL: Teaching English as a Foreign (or Second) Language
  • TS: topic sentence
  • [u]: uncountable (or non-count) noun
  • [u&c]: noun that can be uncountable or countable, depending on the meaning or usage in a particular sentence
  • (v): verb
  • [vi]: intransitive verb
  • [vt]: transitive verb
  • [vti]: verb that is transitive or intransitive, depending on the meaning or usage in a particular sentence

English punctuation marks (you should know all of these)

  • ’ apostrophe; friends, friend’s
  • * asterisk or star
  • ( ) (AmE) parenthesis, parentheses; (BrE) rounded brackets
  • [ ] (AmE) brackets; (BrE) square brackets
  • : colon
  • ; semi-colon
  • ! exclamation point
  • . period
  • , comma
  • / slash
  • ? question mark
  • “ ” quotation marks
  • ‘ ’ (AmE) single quotation marks
  • … ellipsis
  • – hyphen
  • — (or –) dash
  • _ underscore
  • underline (a line under text for emphasis)
  • italics (text in this format for emphasis)

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