4.6. Punctuation


The Japanese period and comma are different in shape from English equivalents. The Japanese period is a small circle, and the Japanese comma is a short line written from upper left to lower right.

Kana:(o)(ha)(yo)(u)(comma)(a)(ki)(ra)(period)
Pitch:LHHHHLL
Romanization:Oha,Akira.
Meaning:Good morning, Akira.

Japanese periods and commas are placed near the base line in the horizontal way, while they are placed at the right side in the vertical way. The sentence above is written vertically as follows. Notice that the positions of the period and the comma are different.

(o)
(ha)
(yo)
(u)
(comma)
(a)
(ki)
(ra)
(period)

Japanese has the question mark (?) and the exclamation point (!) which are the same as English, but you don't have to use question marks even for questions. If a sentence is clearly a question, which has a grammatical question marker, you can use a period instead of a question mark. I will explain it in a later chapter.


Kana:(ho)(n)(to)(u)(question)
Pitch:LHHH
Romanization:Hon?
Meaning:Really?


Kana:(su)(go)(i)(exclamation)
Pitch:LHL
Romanization:Sugoi!
Meaning:Great!



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