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Schools develop new rules on exclamation marks

08/03/2016 Joanna
New government rules state that primary school pupils will now only get credit for using exclamation marks in sentences beginning with 'what' or 'how'.

"For the purposes of the English grammar, punctuation and spelling test, an exclamation is required to start with What or How," the guidance for Key Stage 1 and 2 national curriculum tests states.

Examiners have been advised that students should be able to recognise and write examples of exclamatory sentences, and will not get any credit for using exclamation marks in other ways.

The guidance suggests "What a lovely day!" or "How exciting!" as acceptable examples.

"A sentence that ends in an exclamation mark, but which does not have one of the grammatical patterns shown above, is not considered to be creditworthy as an exclamation (e.g. exclamatory statements, exclamatory imperatives, exclamatory interrogatives or interjections)," it says.

In addition to this, the curriculum acknowledges that an exclamation mark can be used to give emphasis to a statement or command. 

A Department for Education spokesperson said: "The national curriculum programme of study for English writing at KS2 states that pupils should learn how to use sentences with different forms, for example, as a statement, question, exclamation and command. A sentence that takes the form of an exclamation starts with 'What' or 'How' and uses the syntax of an exclamation."

Moderators must see evidence of exclamatory sentences in order to award marks. ADNFCR-2164-ID-801814245-ADNFCR
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