These Siri Punctuation Commands Make Texting So Much Better

Star trek jean-luc picard‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’‘It’s cool to talk to your computer.’

Siri has been able to handle punctuation commands since the get-go, but they’re among the sophisticated features that most people don’t know about.

I only discovered them after using Dragon Dictation on my computer and reading the extensive instructions that come with that product. Well, it turns out Nuance, the company behind Dragon, helped build the voice recognition technology in Siri and included a lot of punctuation features.

Basically, all you have to do is say punctuation while dictating a sentence. For instance, you might say: “Text John Green: Hey John comma want to get brunch on Sunday question mark I’m finally free exclamation point.”

Weird, right? And people who feel weird talking to their phone will feel even weirder doing this.

But once you figure out those crucial punctuation commands, dictation becomes an incredibly fast and easy way to have a conversation over text, especially for people who can’t use phone keyboards as fast as kids these days. When I finally caught on, I sat in my living room for half an hour holding multiple conversations over text like never before. This way of texting is fun, while the old way always struck me as a chore — though, yes, I’m still going to use my thumbs when texting in the office and some other places.

It’s worth noting that Siri could be a very useful way to interact with the Apple Watch, even if Apple hardly mentioned the voice assistant during its latest presentation. It’s also worth noting that Siri is reportedly coming to Apple computers soon.

The full list of Siri punctuation commands appears below, courtesy of third party site Siri User Guide.

As for the competition, Android’s ability to recognise punctuation is reportedly much more limited while Cortana reportedly has no comparable abilities — though users of those phones may be able to download apps to close the gap.

Here’s what Siri can handle:

Command Action Before After
New line Move to the next line
New paragraph Start a new paragraph
Cap Capitalise the next word I like ‘cap’ sunshine I like Sunshine
Caps on … caps off Capitalise a section of text ‘caps on’ twenty types of flower ‘caps off’ 20 Types of Flower
All caps Make the next word all uppercase I ‘all caps’ love summer I LOVE summer
All caps on … all caps off Make part of what you say uppercase I ‘all caps on’ love summer ‘all caps off’ I LOVE SUMMER
No caps Make the next word lowercase I like ‘no caps’ Capitals I like capitals
No caps on … no caps off Make sure part of what you say is all lowercase We like the cities ‘no caps’ London and Sydney ‘no caps off’ the most We like the cities london and sydney the most
Space bar Prevent a hyphen from appearing in a normally hyphenated word
No space Prevent a space between words
No space on … no space off Prevent a section of text from having spaces between words
“Period” or “full stop” Place a “.” at the end of a sentence
Dot . The number pi is three ‘dot’ one four The number pi is 3.14
Point . The ‘point’ number pi is three ‘point’ one four The point number pi 3.14 (note the subtle difference between saying ‘point’ and ‘dot’ dot works between words)
“Ellipsis” or “dot dot dot”
Comma ,
Double comma ,,
“Quote” or “quotation mark”
“Quote … end quote” or “quote … close quote” Place quotes around a section of text She said ‘quote’ see you next week ‘end quote’ She said “see you next week”
Exclamation point !
Inverted exclamation point ¡
Question mark ?
Inverted question mark ¿
Ampersand &
Asterisk *
Open parenthesis (
Close parenthesis )
Open bracket [
Close bracket ]
Open brace {
Close brace }
Dash This dash is dash my dash cheese This – is – my – cheese (note the difference in spacing between this and when saying hyphen)
Hyphen This ‘hyphen’ is ‘hyphen’ my ‘hyphen’ cheese This-is-my-cheese (note the difference in spacing between this and when saying dash)
Em dash
Underscore _
Per cent sign %
Copyright sign ©
Registered sign ®
Section sign §
Dollar sign $
Cent sign ¢
Euro sign
Yen sign ¥
Degree sign
Caret ^
At sign @
Pound sterling sign £
Pound sign #
Greater than sign >
Less than sign <
Forward slash /
Back slash \
Vertical bar |
“Smiley” or “smiley face” or “smile face” :-)
“Frowny” or “frowny face” or “frown face” :-(
“Winky” or “winky face” or “wink face” ;-)
E.g. (pronounced as “e g”) e.g. ‘e g’ when you learn to ride a bike E.G. when you learn to ride a bike
i.e. (pronounced as “i e”) i.e. ‘i e’ when you learn to ride a bike I.e. when you learn to ride a bike

Disclaimer: I am invested in Apple.

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