Year 4 Punctuation

Discover Year 4 punctuation standards

Children in Year 4 will have varying degrees of competency when it comes to how they use punctuation. One common issue you may find is that your child forgets to end their sentences using the correct punctuation. This comes with practice and it can help for children to read their writing aloud once they've completed it.

This guide focuses on new skills your child will develop at this stage in their primary education journey. We’ll show you how they can use quotation marks to pick out sections of text, whilst also looking at a variety of ways that they can use the comma when structuring more complex sentences. Let's get started!

Quotation Marks

Here are two of the ways we use quotation marks:

  • dialogue (direct speech) in a narrative
  • quotations from a text

You’ll find examples of how to use quotation marks in direct speech in our Year 3 punctuation page.

Practice Tip

Before they move on to more complex topics, your child can consolidate their knowledge of direct speech with this lesson on Night Zookeeper:

Direct speech lesson on, displayed on laptop screen.

Quotations from a Text

When your child is writing about or answering questions on a text they have read, they need to give evidence for the claims they make. Evidence is often a quotation from the text and is punctuated with quotation marks.

There are two uses of quotation marks in this context:

- for book titles

- for the words you have quoted from the text

Look at this example, citing the book The Giraffes of Whispering Wood by Joshua Davidson:

- In “The Giraffes of Whispering Wood”, Will’s teacher, Mrs Barnes, does not like his painting of a purple elephant. On page 25, when Mrs Barnes looked at Will’s painting she “wrinkled her nose and tutted three times.” This shows that she didn’t like the painting.


The comma is a punctuation mark that we use to separate parts of a sentence and words within a sentence.

We use a comma to separate items in a list. For example:

- Night Zookeeper Will wears a hat, coat, and tie.

Commas are important when writing a letter. Use a comma in the date, the greeting, and the closing. When writing an address on an envelope, remember to use a comma between the city and state.

Letter writing guidance
Addressing a letter guidance

When writing an address in a sentence, use commas after each part of the address. For example:

- The Professor lives at 5 Igloo Street, Iceberg, Igloo City, The Night Zoo.

Commas in a Compound Sentence

A comma is also used before a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence.

A compound sentence is made up of two independent clauses. An independent clause is a complete thought that makes sense as a sentence on its own.

Setence structure help

This is an example of a compound sentence all about ants!

Working on setences

Your child can complete the remainder of this lesson on Night Zookeeper to practise their use of commas in compound sentences.

How Night Zookeeper can help

Night Zookeeper logo, displayed on tablet screen.

Make reading & writing fantastically fun with Night Zookeeper!

Our reading & writing program was created to help children in Years 1 to 6 improve their literacy skills, with an emphasis on boosting grammar, spelling, and punctuation. We can support you and your child through their learning journey in a variety of ways!

Our award-winning educational content has been developed by experts to make learning fantastically fun for even the most reluctant readers and writers! This content includes:

  • Word games
  • Interactive lessons
  • Curriculum challenges
  • Monthly resources sent directly to you
  • Printable worksheets for on-the-go learning

Sign up today and get a FREE 7-day trial!

Related articles

  • Punctuation (overview)
  • Punctuation Resources
  • Primary English Curriculum
  • Year 4 Writing
  • Year 4 Reading
  • Year 4 Spelling
  • Year 4 Grammar
  • Banner
    Children holding a tablet

    Make Reading & Writing Fantastically Fun!

    • Award-winning reading & writing program for kids
    • Improves spelling, grammar, punctuation & vocabulary
    • Over 1,000 different learning games and activities
    Learn More
    2011-2024. Wonky Star Ltd
    Registered Company No. 07706300