Full Stop - Explore What It Is, Its Functions and How to Use It in Writing

Among the various punctuation marks in the English language, the ‘full stop’ is one of the easiest and most used punctuation marks. A full stop, unlike any other punctuation mark, is made use of so effortlessly. If you are a regular user of the English language, you will definitely know how and when to use a full stop in a sentence. However, to brush up your knowledge and for those who are new to the language, here is what you need to know about the ‘full stop’.

Table of Contents

What is a Full Stop? – Meaning and Definition

A full stop, also known as a period, is chiefly used to end a sentence. It is mostly used at the end of declarative sentences and imperative sentences. A full stop marks a longer pause than a comma and a semicolon. Furthermore, it marks the end of a thought and the beginning of another.

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines a full stop as a punctuation mark that is “used at the end of a sentence to emphasise that there is nothing more to say about a subject.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a full stop as “a point . used to show the end of a sentence or an abbreviation”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a full stop is defined as “the symbol . used in writing at the end of a sentence or at the end of the short form of a word”, and according to the Collins Dictionary, a full stop is “the punctuation mark . which you use at the end of a sentence when it is not a question or exclamation.”

Using a Full Stop – Rules and Points to Remember

Taking a look at the different functions of a full stop will definitely help you gather a complete understanding of how and where you can use full stops.

A full stop is used,

  • To mark the end of a sentence, primarily
  • To mark the end of commands, instructions, orders and requests
  • After short forms and abbreviations
  • After an initial
  • At the end of a sentence containing an indirect question
  • In website URLs and email addresses

Examples of Sentences Using a Full Stop

Now that you know the various functions of a full stop, have a look at the examples given below to have a clear idea of how it can be used.

Using a Full Stop at the End of a Declarative/Assertive Sentence

  • Today is the last working day for us.
  • Cathy is a teacher.
  • No one is ready yet.
  • She likes listening to music.
  • We will be dancing at my cousin’s reception.

Using a Full Stop at the End of an Imperative Sentence

  • Please send the materials as soon as possible.
  • Turn off the lights and fans when you leave the room.
  • Kindly see to it that you do not leave any column empty.
  • Turn left after the junction.
  • Eat quickly and leave.

Using a Full Stop after Abbreviations or Short Forms

  • I had to buy pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, etc.
  • Mr. Dennis and Ms. Sheena will be the guests for the evening.
  • We will be reaching Bangalore around 9 p. m.
  • Prof. Neelaveni is our H.O.D.
  • St. Francis of Assisi was known for his missionary work in India.

Using a Full Stop after Initials

  • M. Kumaran is the manager.
  • D. H. Lawrence was known for the imagery in his poetry.
  • Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was one of the best presidents of India.
  • C. S. Lewis was a British writer.
  • T. J. Matthew had come to meet you.

Using a Full Stop at the End of an Indirect Question

  • The teacher asked us if we were ready for the theoretical geometry test.
  • Usha asked Danny if he knew anything about the new educational policy.
  • I wonder what is taking them so much time.
  • They wanted to know if it would be okay for us to meet them at a club.
  • My father asked me what time it was.

Using a Full Stop in Website URLs and Email Addresses

Multiple full stops are used in website URLs and email addresses. For example: www.byjus.com, [email protected]

Check Your Understanding of the Usage of Full Stop in a Sentence

Now that you have learnt the various ways in which full stops are used, try out the following exercise. Punctuate the following sentences by using capital letters and full stops wherever necessary.

1. i wanted to know if i could take another day to finish my assignment

2. it is high time we took some action

3. my mother asked me whether i was happy

4. bring me a glass of water

5. mrs shiny was made the vice president of the women’s association

6. their parents are arriving next month

7. around 6 a m today the sun was shining

8. harish asked me if we knew who the m d was

9. my uncle told me that it might rain tomorrow

10. dr indhu has specialised in paediatrics

Find out if you have punctuated the sentence correctly from the answers given below.

1. I wanted to know if I could take another day to finish my assignment.

2. It is high time we took some action.

3. My mother asked me whether I was happy.

4. Bring me a glass of water.

5. Mrs. Shiny was made the Vice President of the women’s association.

6. Their parents are arriving next month.

7. Around 6 a. m. today, the sun was shining.

8. Harish asked me if we knew who the MD was.

9. My uncle told me that it might rain tomorrow.

10. Dr. Indhu has specialised in paediatrics.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Usage of Full Stop

What is a full stop?

A full stop, also known as a period, is chiefly used to end a sentence. It is mostly used at the end of declarative sentences and imperative sentences. A full stop marks a longer pause than a comma and a semicolon. Furthermore, it marks the end of a thought and the beginning of another.

What is the definition of a full stop?

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines a full stop as a punctuation mark that is “used at the end of a sentence to emphasise that there is nothing more to say about a subject.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a full stop as “a point . used to show the end of a sentence or an abbreviation”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a full stop is defined as “the symbol . used in writing at the end of a sentence or at the end of the short form of a word”, and according to the Collins Dictionary, a full stop is “the punctuation mark . which you use at the end of a sentence when it is not a question or exclamation.”

What are the functions of a full stop?

A full stop can be used,

  • To mark the end of a sentence, primarily
  • To mark the end of commands, instructions, orders and requests
  • After short forms and abbreviations
  • After an initial
  • At the end of a sentence containing an indirect question
  • In website URLs and email addresses

Give some examples of sentences using a full stop.

Here are a few examples of sentences to help you understand how a full stop can be used.

  • We will be dancing at my cousin’s reception.
  • Kindly see to it that you do not leave any column empty.
  • Turn left after the junction.
  • Mr. Dennis and Ms. Sheena will be the guests for the evening.
  • Usha asked Danny if he knew anything about the new educational policy.

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