Full Stop Punctuation: Guide to Proper Usage

The full stop (.) is a punctuation mark that looks…

The full stop (.) is a punctuation mark that looks like a small round dot. It serves to punctuate the end of a sentence, typically separating whole sentences from one another. This article discusses the full stop punctuation and how to utilize it in writing.

The Full Stop Punctuation: An Overview

The full stop punctuation, also known as the period, indicates that a conversation has ended and no more thought is needed. Its typical use is to mark the end of declarative sentences or a series of imperative sentences.

The full stop is used in both formal and informal writing. It works the same in both cases. The full stop is used to end a sentence after the idea has been fully stated and the final word is complete.

Uses of Full Stop

The full stop is one of the punctuation marks that is used after a sentence. It is commonly known as the period and denotes the end of a thought or sentence. The uses of full stop are as follows:

1. To end a sentence.

The most common use of the full stop is to end the final word and indicate that the sentence is complete. It can also be used to separate two independent clauses. Specifically, the full stop ends statements, commands, instructions, mild interjections, and requests.

A sentence fragment results when a full stop is used to punctuate incomplete sentences or phrases.


  • I am going home to sleep.
  • There, I have completed the task.
  • I went to the Friday concert. I listened to my favorite musician sing.
  • The TV is on and playing a movie.
  • I will take a walk after breakfast.
  • Take the clothes to the laundryman.
  • Make sure you clean your room regularly.

2. After abbreviations and initials and to indicate omissions.

Abbreviations are shortened forms of words or phrases. Full stops are essential in marking abbreviations. For example, a.m. (ante meridian), St. (street), Mr. (Mister), Prof. (Professor), and Dr. (Doctor).

Initials are first letters of words, such as names of people, organizations, and countries. A full stop punctuates initials—for example, U.K. (United Kingdom), J.A. Davidson (James Andrews Davidson).

An ellipsis (…), composed of three full stops, indicates an absence of some words or parts of a sentence.


  • Prof. Charles is my course instructor.
  • I have grammar lessons at 9 a.m. every day.
  • Roberts started a Master’s program in the U.K.
  • My favorite author is J.A. Davidson.
  • I asked Mr. Johnson to put me through the Mathematics assignment.
  • Johnson (2008) viewed humanity as…

3. After reported questions.

A reported question tells someone what another person asked. The full stop ends reported questions.


  • I asked Mr. Steven if he had seen my notebook.
  • Chris asked if I could help with his homework.
  • He asked me to write my name down.
black fountain pen on white paper linked with black ink
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

To Wrap Up

The full stop is one of the most utilized punctuation marks in English. Commonly used to punctuate the end of statements, commands, and reported questions, its improper use could easily affect your writing. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to use this punctuation effectively.

Frequently asked questions

How many spaces should there be after a full stop?

While there are a lot of formal rules for punctuation marks and formatting, it’s easy to get tripped up on choosing between a one or two space after a period. What it means to use two spaces after a period and what it means today to use one space after -.

Which keys are used to put full stop and comma?

SymbolDescriptionWindows Shortcut
ApostropheAlt + 0039
,CommaAlt + 0044
HyphenAlt + 0045
.Full Stop or PeriodAlt +0046

How do you remember full stops and capital letters?

‘Remember the caps, gaps and stops’ (capital letters, gaps [spaces] and full stops) with each child before starting all written work. Success becomes a simple goal that can then be used to self-assess and peer-respond.

Can I use full stop after a word?

4. Make sure you do not use full stops in sentences instead of questions or exclamations. Even in some cases, full stops are used after only one word. It happens when a single word describes the entire thought.

How do you know where to put the full stop?

What are the rules of a full stop?

Complete a sentence with a full stop. Use full stops at the end of any sentence fragment in a list made up of sentence fragments.

What is a full stop with examples?

The period is also known as a full stop since it signals a speaker or reader that the sentence has come to an end. A brown dog is one example. The name of my sister is Lisa.

What are the five uses of full stop?

  • In websites
  • After initials
  • After abbreviations
  • When a sentence is concluded. While a full stop can mark the conclusion of a sentence that is full.
  • After a command’s execution.
  • Indirect questions are finished.

Can we use full stop before and?

To be clear, cannot “But” or “And” be used after a full stop in a sentence? Therefore, either of these words can be used after full stop.

How do you know when to end a sentence?

Punctuation ensures the sentence’s meaning is clear and how it should be read. With every sentence, every letter should begin with a capital letter and a full stop, exclamation mark, or question mark at the end. This basic system indicates completeness of a sentence.

What type of punctuation should not be used?

Answer and Exclamation.. Neither of these are commonly used in academic writing! A writer should not explicitly shout at the reader in formal writing.

Can you use two punctuation marks at the end of a sentence?

Generally, you should not use more than one ending punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation point) in one row. When answering a question, you should end it with a mark, not with sand and a period. A sentence should have only one period after an abbreviation, like etc.

What are the 4 types of stop punctuation?

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

Where do you put punctuation in a sentence?

Almost silent intonation fills our writing with punctuation. As we pause, stop, emphasize, or question, we use a comma, a period, an exclamation point, or a question mark. Punctuation is critical to writing because it allows the writer to stop, pause, or emphasize certain parts of the sentence.

How do you use punctuation marks with examples?

  • My stomach is full, I am not hungry.
  • A comma should instead appear:.
  • My stomach is empty, and I’m almost ready for dinner.
Full Stop Punctuation: Guide to Proper Usage

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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