Ultimate Writing Guide: Closing Punctuation

Closing punctuation is any punctuation that indicates the end of…

Closing punctuation is any punctuation that indicates the end of something. Punctuation is a set of signs or symbols that tell a reader how a sentence is put together and how to read it.

Sentences make up the building blocks of writing. The punctuation of paragraphs and sentences are what makes a piece of writing structured and give a piece of writing meaning.

Every sentence should start with a capital letter and end with a period, exclamation point, or question mark. This simple method shows that the sentence is finished.

You can use a period, an exclamation point, or a question mark when you want to end a sentence. Each one gives the whole sentence a different tone: that of a statement, an outcry, or a question.

white textile with black cross
Photo by Bekky Bekks on Unsplash

Closing Punctuation Guidelines

1. A sentence that says something is true ends with a full stop.


  • There were five boats on the river.
  • Today is my graduation party.

 2. A sentence that gives an order, or an imperative, can also end with a period.


  • Turn off the lights after reading.
  • Don’t smoke and drink while driving.

3. A question mark is used to ask a question or sometimes to show surprise or disbelief.


  • Is it already time for dinner?
  • Did you really get me cereal for lunch?

4. An exclamation point is used to get people’s attention or show excitement.

  • The water is infested with sharks !

5. Closing punctuation can also come after an interruption.

Wow! I have never met a wizard before. Oh my God!

It should be used sparingly in both cases. If you use exclamation points too much, they lose their effect and can make you look silly or unprofessional.

When we read out loud, our voices change to match the punctuation.

  • A period is quiet and calm.
  • An exclamation mark is loud and excited.
  • A question mark makes the end of the sentence sound like a question.

You can modify the meaning of a sentence by changing the end punctuation.

See Examples:

  • I went to the cinema. (Meaning: It went as planned)
  • I went to the cinema! (Meaning: I had a great time)
  • I went to the cinema? (Meaning: Are you joking? I must have had some kind of blackout)

To Wrap Up

Each punctuation mark adds strength and makes a sentence stronger. A word without punctuation can make a sentence confusing and weak. Punctuation tells you how to read the sentence and makes sure you understand what it means.

Frequently asked questions

What do you call this symbol *?

SymbolName of the symbolSee also
&AmpersandLigature (writing)
⟨ ⟩Angle bracketsBracket
‘ ‘Apostrophe

When you end a sentence with a quote where does the period go?

Commas and periods always go inside quotation marks in American English; dashes, colons, and semicolons almost always go outside; question marks and exclamation marks sometimes go inside, sometimes stay outside.

What is dash in punctuation?

A dash depicts a pause or break in meaning, or represents missing words or letters. There are a few informalities to dashes, which should be used carefully in writing. Dashes are often used informally instead of commas, colons, and brackets. Dashes may or may not have a space either side.

What are the three types of end marks?

The reader learns how each sentence is interpreted through punctuation. Periods, question marks, and exclamation points have three types of end punctuation.

How would I punctuate this sentence?

Is there a comma after your sincerely?

Let your letters finish with yours sincerely. The use of a comma after startings or endings is not necessary. If you know the person you are writing to well, you may want to include a closing formula such as With very best wishes prior to the ending itself.

Do you put a period after the letter closing?

A small exception occurs in open-punctuation business letters. There is no punctuation followed by salutation or closing in this format. When they sit alone, they lack companionship and intimacy without a comma, colon, or period.

Should I use comma after regards?

Several sign them off with Kind regards or Regards. Commas do not need to be used after the sign-off, just like with the greeting. Your greetings and sign-offs in your emails vary largely depending on your relationship with the person you’re sending them.

What type of punctuation should not be used?

These punctuation marks are commonly used in academic writing. In general, a writer should not shout at the reader in formal writing.

How do you properly punctuate?

The silence of silence fills our writing with punctuation. Using a comma, period, exclamation point, or question mark, we pause, stop, emphasize, or ask questions. Punctuation adds clarity and precision to writing; it allows the writer to stop or pause while defining certain parts of the sentence.

What punctuation mark goes after the closing in a business letter?

Add the first word only (for example: Thank you) and leave four lines between the closing and the sender’s name for a signature. Compamata should follow the closing of a colon.

What are the 4 types of stop punctuation?

British EnglishAmerican English
The ” . ” symbol is calledA full stopa period

What are the 14 punctuation marks?

In English, there are 14 punctuation marks. These include the period, question mark, exclamation point, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, brackets, braces, parentheses, apostrophe, quotation mark,.

How do you do closing punctuation?

Punctuating the end of a sentence can be as simple as a period or exclamation mark. If you’re using statements, outcries, or questions, you must use a different tone for the entire sentence.

What does a Hedera punctuation mark look like?

This plant has vine-like swirls similar to an ivy plant, which makes sense since the name Hedera (*) literally means “ivity” in Latin. A flower-like style is a “floral heart”.

Ultimate Writing Guide: Closing Punctuation

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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