Punjabi words are made up partly of consonants and partly of vowel signs. Letters are written first and then the sound symbols. Punjabi punctuation is similar to that used in English. However, one distinct difference is that in Punjabi a vertical stroke is used at the end of a sentence to mark a full stop.

There are ten vowels represented by nine signs. Their positions relating to consonants are as follows: (auṅkaṛ) and  (dulaiṅkaṛ) are written beneath the letter, (lāṃvāṃ) (dulāṃvāṃ)> (hōṛā)) (kanauṛā)) are written above the letter, (sihārī) is written on the left of the letter while (bihārī) and (kannā) are written on the right. The three auxillary signs    are written above the letter. Punjabi is the best written on lined paper initially. In Roman script the letters rest in the line, whereas in Punjabi the horizontal head stroke is written upon the line, the characters then hang from the line, in much the same way as clothes hang from a washing line.

Gurmukhi is written as we speak it . No sound is derived from two letters.


  1. Any consonant symbol can be put to any letter except first three letters  (ੳ, ਅ and )

  2. and are never used without a vowel symbol.

  3. can have only three vowel symbols namely auṅkaṛ, dulaiṅkaṛ and hōṛā. Because of no place at the top to get the sound of hōṛā, the top is opened like

  4. can have three symbols namely sihārī, bihārī and lāṃvāṃ.

  5. can have the remaining four symbols namely kannā, dulāṃvāṃ, kanauṛā, ṭippī and bindī. This letter can also be used without a symbol.

  6. Both ṭippī and bindī are used for nasal sounds. ṭippī is used upon letter without any vowel symbol or with symbol of sihārī, auṅkaṛ and dulaiṅkaṛ only. It is not used with (instead bindī used with this letter). bindī is used with remaining vowel symbols.

  7. The vowel symbols are put after writing the letter. However while typing only sihārī  is to be typed before typing the letter.

  8. There were no additional letters or joint letters in the old Script. The symbols of adhak or bindī were not used and nor any punctuation mark except full stop was used then.

Learning about symbols is very important to write Punjabi in Gurmukhi script. All the letters except first three in Gurmukhi alphabet are consonants. A vowel symbol does not have any independent sound but it gives sound to the letter to which it attached. Symbols are never used without a letter, but letters can be used without a symbol. In that case they retain their primary sound called muktā.