Difference Between Grammar and Punctuation

Main Difference – Grammar vs. Punctuation

Grammar and Punctuation are two of the most important aspects of a language. The main difference between grammar and punctuation is that grammar is the study of the way sentences are constructed in a language while punctuation is the practice of using established symbols in order to separate elements and clarify the meaning of a text. Grammar and punctuation are interdependent in the sense that a grammatically accurate sentence is not complete without proper punctuation, and a properly punctuated sentence is not accurate if it is grammatically inaccurate. It is important to have a good knowledge of both aspects to master a language.

What is Grammar

Grammar is a set of structural rules that governs the construction of clauses, phrases and words in a language. It is the study of words; it studies how words change their forms and combine with other words to make meaningful sentences. Grammar is concerned with orthography (proper spellings), accidence (inflections of words) and syntax (the structure of sentences). Parts of Speech (nouns, verbs, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections ) are also studied under grammar.

Grammar can be descriptive or perspective. Descriptive grammar refers to how the structure of language should be used by the speakers and writers while perspective grammar explains how that structure is actually used by the people.

It is important to note that different languages have different grammars. For example, in the English language, adjectives are placed before the noun, but in French, adjectives are placed after the noun.Difference Between Grammar and Punctuation

What is Punctuation

Punctuation is a set of symbols used to regulate texts and clarify their meaning by separating the text into sentences, phrases, clauses, etc. The correct use of punctuation is a key feature in writing as it indicates how the text should be read. Some common punctuation marks include commas, full stops, colons, semicolons, dash, hyphen, question marks, exclamation marks, brackets, and apostrophe.

Incorrect use of punctuation can result in the change of meaning.  Observe how the difference in punctuation has resulted in the change of meaning, in following sentences.

Example 1

Woman, without her man, is nothing.

Woman: without her, man is nothing.

Example 2

Your donation helped someone get a job.          

Your donation helped someone. Get a job.

Example 3

She loves baking dogs and shopping.    

She loves baking, dogs, and shopping.

Main Difference - Grammar vs Punctuation

Difference Between Grammar and Punctuation


Grammar is a set of rules that governs the construction of words, phrases, and clauses.

Punctuation is a set of symbols that clarify the meaning of  a text.


Grammar includes areas like orthography, accidence, syntax and parts of the language.

Punctuation includes marks like commas, full stop, question mark, dash, etc.


Grammar creates meaningful sentences.

Punctuation creates stress, clarity and sense in a sentence.


Grammar changes according to different languages.

Punctuation does not change extensively when compared to grammar.

Written and Spoken Language

Grammar can be observed in both spoken and written language.

Punctuation can be mainly observed in written language.


A properly punctuated sentence is not necessarily grammatically correct.

A grammatically correct sentence is not necessarily a properly punctuated one.Difference Between Grammar and Punctuation-infographic

Image Courtesy:

“Punctuation Saves Lives!” by  Darin McClure (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

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