The end of a complete sentence should be marked by a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point. If a sentence is not complete and it is terminated by a period, we have a sentence fragment as in the sentence below.
|Incorrect:||You can use any resources. To complete your take-home exam.|
Correcting the Problem
|Correct:||You can use any resources to complete your take-home exam.|
Rule to Remember
The end of a complete sentence should be marked by a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.
Sentence fragments are discussed in a different section of this tutorial. This section will explore the uses of punctuation marks used to mark the end of sentences.
End of Sentence
A period is used to signal the end of a complete sentence.
|Correct:||This is the best paper I've ever written.|
A period is also used at the end of an indirect question.
|Correct:||The teacher asked us if we understood the assignment.|
Polite requests can be followed either by a period or by a question mark.
|Correct:||Will you please mail this letter for me.|
|Correct:||Will you please mail this letter for me?|
A period should be placed after every part of the abbreviation:
|a.m. (am is also possible)||Ave.|
Very common abbreviations and units of measure don't take periods:
Academic degrees can be written with or without periods:
Lower case abbreviations are usually written with periods: i.e.
Government agencies and international organizations are written without periods:
Direct questions are followed by a question mark.
|Correct:||The teacher asked, "Do you understand the assignment?"|
Exclamatory sentences should be followed by an exclamation point.
|Correct:||Wow! That's incredible!|