Punctuation in Modern Greek
The most common punctuation marks in Greek are
- Period (.) τελεία
- is placed at the end of a complete sentence; the first letter of the word that comes after the period is capitalized, just like in most European languages.
- Comma (,) κόμμα
- is the most frequently used punctuation mark and is used to denote a very short pause in speech; most of the times it is used in the same way as in English.
- Semicolon () άνω τελεία
- is used to denote a pause shorter than the one denoted by the period but longer than by the comma, pretty much as one does in English; note that the semicolon in Greek does not look like the semicolon in English!
- Question mark (;) ερωτηματικό
- same usage as in English, but note that it looks like the English semicolon!
- Exclamation mark (!) θαυμαστικό
- no differrent than its English counterpart.
- Colon (:) διπλή τελεία
- is used when we quote someone or when we enumerate, explain or state a result.
- Quotes (<< >>) εισαγωγικά
- are used in the place of the English quotes (" ").
The following marks are also used in some special cases.
- Apostrophe (') απόστροφος
- replaces the first or last vowel of a word when this vowel is ommitted due to one of the "vowel alterations".
- Decimal point (,) υποδιαστολή
- is used only for the relative pronoun ό,τι (=whatever) to distinguish it from the conjunction ότι (=that); it is also used as the decimal point in writing non-integers, instead of the Western-European period (.), e.g. 1,2 = one point two.
- Umlaut (¨) διαλυτικά
- are placed on top of ι or υ to denote that this ι or υ must be pronounced seperately, when the previous letter is one of the vowels α, ε or ο; there is no name for this mark in English, so I used its German name.