Grammar Greatness: the Full Stop (hey, we call it a Period in the USA).

October 14, 2019 | By | Reply More

Punctuation is simply how you make your writing read more like how you speak.

If the Comma is a pause for breath, and the Semi-colon is a long pause for breath, then the Full Stop is a complete halt to your words. It’s the red light on a set of traffic lights. The Full Stop is also called the Period (the period is a rather old-fashioned term: it’s what William Shakespeare called the term in his plays – it’s also the term still used in the USA).

You add a Full Stop to the end of a sentence like this:

Examples.

  • My first sentence.
  • My first sentence. My second sentence.
  • My first sentence. My second sentence. Hey, I even have a third sentence, here.
  • “And here is one,” I added, “at the end of my dialogue just before the final speech mark.

Extras.

You can also add Full Stops to acronyms like N.A.T.O. or N.A.S.A. or U.S.A., and title abbreviations like Dr. (for Doctor) or Mr. (for Mister).

Common Mistakes.

You don’t add a full stop to the end of an acronym (e.g. make a double Full Stop), because an acronym already contains a Full Stop. So you’ll never write U.S.A.. or U.A.E..

You also don’t add a Full Stop after an Exclamation Mark (!) or Question Mark (?) because they already have the Full Stop baked into the ! and ? at the bottom.

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Category: Wizard of Words

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I have been working as a full-time author publishing fantasy and science fiction novels for HarperCollins for the last seven years.

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