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1. Grammar and Spelling
2. Punctuation
3. Measurements and Abbreviations
4. Hyphenation
5. Miscellaneous Peculiarities
6. Geographic Distribution
7. Character Set

Section One - Grammar and Spelling

1. Case: The cases in Punjabi are easily recognizable and they require agreements.

2. Articles: There are no definite or indefinite articles in Punjabi.

3. One-letter words: There are no one-letter words in Punjabi. However when a letter appears independently in a word, it may look like a one-letter word. This should not be a problem for someone familiar with Arabic/Persian script.

4. Plural: There are many ways by which plurals can be made in Punjabi. This depends on the origin of the word and what language it comes from.

5. Accents: Accents exist in Punjabi but they are used only to make the pronunciation of a word clearer. As such there in no upper case or lower case in Punjabi.

6. Capitalization: There is no capitalization in Punjabi.

Section Two - Punctuation

Since Punjabi is written from right to left, the shapes of marks like comma and question mark are mirror images (like W) of what is used in English.

1. Full stops: Full stops are not used in Punjabi. A dash like character ( - ) is used to end sentences and it is not used at the end of headings, titles, subtitles, bullet points, addresses, dates, or no. of pages. After a heading, a colon followed by a dash (-:) is used.

2. Speech marks: The following examples shows how speech marks are used in Punjabi:

"Give me more work!", shouted Chloe.


3. Colons, semi-colons and ellipsis: Colons are used in almost the same way as in English. Semi-colons and ellipsis are not generally used in Punjabi. Sometimes they are used because Punjabi is still evolving and because of the influence of English.

4. Brackets: In Punjabi {} are not used; only () are used. The text within them is punctuated and capitalised similarly to how it is in English.

5. Apostrophe: Apostrophes are not used in Punjabi.

Section Three - Measurements and Abbreviations

1. Measurements: The metric system is mostly used. However, the transition is not yet complete. For computer monitors, inner diameter of pipes/tubes, nautical miles, size of computer disks, size of refrigerators, etc. imperial measurements are still used.

Punjabi has been used instead of the decimal point, but the use of decimal point is common now. Normally a comma is used to separate thousands.

The following shows how different times are written in Punjabi:

10.30 am / noon / 4.30 pm / midnight


The following shows the different ways in which the date can be formatted:


Spacing: There should always be a space before a percentage sign (%), but not before °C. Thus, 30 % but 30°C.

Currency: 230 pounds sterling /45 euro / 98 billion dollars would be translated as follows:


The Pakistani currency is Rupees (Rs.). Rs. 20 is written as:


2. Abbreviations:

Equivalent abbreviations:

Not widely used but we can write Punjabi
No. (nos.)
No corresponding abbreviation.
1st / 2nd / 3rd / 4th
Mr. / Mrs.
Dear Sir / Madam
بﺎﻨﺟ مﺮﺘﺤﻣ / نﻮﺗﺎﺧ
m (for metre)
cm (for centimetre)
م س or ﻢﺳ
lb (for pound weight)
g (for gram)
km (for kilometre)
yr (for year)
k (for 1000)

EMEA (Europe, Middle-East & Asia)
No corresponding abbreviation.
Days of the week: Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun
No corresponding abbreviation. Always written in full.
Months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
No corresponding abbreviation. Always written in full.
Seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter (not normally abbreviated in English)
No corresponding abbreviation. Always written in full.
Overall, the use of abbreviations in Punjabi is not common.

Section Four - Hyphenation

Hyphens and dashes (short 'N' dashes ( – ), or longer 'M' dashes (—)) are not used in Punjabi.

Section Five - Miscellaneous Peculiarities

Tonal marks are used to distinguish between the meanings of various words and also to help pronounce a word in the right way.

Names are always written in this sequence: first, middle, last. There is no upper case or lower case distinction in Punjabi.

Italics are not used in Punjabi. Bold is used in the same sense.

Section Six - Geographic Distribution

Punjabi is widely spoken and understood in Pakistan. Nearly 60% of the population is Punjabi. Punjabi has many dialects, like Hindko, Siraiki, Potohari, Mirpuri and Main Punjabi (widely spoken in central Punjab). Spoken Pakistani Punjabi and Indian Punjabi are the same but the way of writing is different. Pakistani Punjabi uses the Arabic / Persian / Urdu script and Indian Punjabi uses Gurmukhi.

Section Seven - Character Set

[ ] = Alt key codes


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