In addition to the article on punctuation already published in the post "Punctuation I", there are other signs that are explained below.
1. Rules for use of ellipsis
Ellipses are used in various cases:
To leave a list open; it has the same meaning as the word ‘etcetera’ or its abbreviation ‘etc.’ (and so on):
- En el parque hay árboles, estanques, niños… (The park has trees, ponds, children ...)
When a phrase is not finished, because the listener knows the ending, as we often do with proverbs:
- Ande yo caliente…(ríase la gente) "As long as I feel warm ... (let people laugh at me)"
To express hesitation or wavering:
- “Quería preguntarte…” (I wanted to ask you...)
To suggest, preventing their reproduction, taboo words or inappropriate expressions:
- “Vete a la m…, esta vez te has pasado.” (where ‘m ...’ stands for “mierda”, i.e. ‘shit’)
It is sometimes used to provoke suspense:
- “De pronto se oyó un ruido y…” (Suddenly there was a noise and ...)
2. Rules for use of hyphen / dash
A dash (-) is used for various situations. According to the RAE it can serve the purpose of linking names or adjectives.
I. In the case of proper names it is used:
When two first names come together, to separate them and avoiding confusion with the surname:
- Antonio – Marcos
To establish different circumstantial relationships between names:
- “Hubo un acuerdo franco-español.” (There was a Franco – Spanish agreement.)
II. In the case of nouns the hyphen is used:
To establish relationships between concepts, which can be fixed (“kilómetros-hora”, i.e. kilometers per hour) or situational (“conversaciones Gobiero-sindicatos”, i.e. government-union talks).
To join two nouns with the same referent:
- El director –coordinador de la cadena…(The director-coordinator of the chain.)
III. When it comes to adjectives, the hyphen is used:
To join two gentiles (gentilic adjectives):
- “Las relaciones germano-francesas.” (German-French relations)
When two adjectives are applied or connected to a noun, for example:
- “Son clases teórico-prácticas.” (Lessons are theoretical – practical).
IV. The hyphen is also used in other circumstances, such as:
To relate two dates:
- Guerra Civil (1936 – 1939) (Civil War)
To cut out words at the end of the line:
- Ca-sa, me-sa… (House, Tish)
In this case we must take into account some general rules like:
- A vowel can never be alone at the end of the line. (“Ami-go”, not “a-migo”)
- The "ll", "rr" and "ch" are never split. (“po-llo”, not “pol – lo”)
- Monosyllables, acronyms and abbreviations are not separated. (“si”, never “s-i”)
3. Rules for using parentheses
The parentheses are used in cases such as:
When stopping a statement to isolate clarifications which are inserted in the sentence itself:
- “Mis amigos (Angel y Gloria) vienen esta tarde a casa.” (My Friends (Angel and Gloria) are coming home this afternoon)
To collate data, dates, pages, provinces ...
- “Todos los niños vinieron de Madrid (España)" = All children came from Madrid (Spain)
- “Esta poesía se puede leer en Quevedo (página 40)" = This poem can be read in Quevedo (page 40)
To enclose in a play, the explanations of the author or the actions of the characters:
- "Bernarda. (Pounding her cane on the floor). You can’t possibly beat me! "(García-Lorca Bernarda [Esp 1936]).
To translate foreign words:
- Keep in mind the "Carpe diem" (live now)
4. Rules for using quotation marks
We may use speech marks:
To play quotes:
- My sister said, "We´ll be seeing you tomorrow."
To name titles of books, articles, books, ...
- Valle - Inclan wrote “El tragaluz” (‘Skylight’)
To enclose in a narrative work, texts which reproduce directly the thoughts of the characters:
- "He could even curse in Latin, the scoundrel!”, "thought the father" (RAE)
To show that a word is inappropriate, vulgar or from another language:
- He said the restaurant was very "chic".
Single speech marks are used to frame the meanings:
- The word restaurant comes from French "restaurant" which means "restorative."