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Punctuation: Full stop and question mark

Posted by Manjusha Filed in English Writing

The punctuation mark full stop (.) is used to close sentences. A new sentence that follows a full stop has a capital letter.

  • Honesty is the best policy.
  • Sweet are the uses of adversity.
  • A friend in need is a friend indeed.

Full stops are also used in writing abbreviations. This is becoming less common in British English.

Examples are: oz. for ounce (s), Prof. for professor, i.e. for in other words and e.g. for for example.

Question marks

Question marks (?) are used to close direct questions. A new sentence that follows a question mark has a capital letter.

  • What are you doing?
  • Did you get my letter?
  • Why do we try to reach the stars?

Note that we do not use question marks after indirect questions.

  • He asked me if I had received his letter.
  • I asked her what time it was.

Exclamation marks

The exclamation mark (!) is placed at the end of an utterance which is an exclamation or which merely expresses strong emotion.

  • What a lovely painting it is! (exclamation)
  • How beautifully she sings! (exclamation)
  • You must leave at once! (strong emotion)
  • I canít believe this! (strong emotion)

See also

Full stops, question marks and exclamation marks
Colon and semicolon
Quotation marks



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