Easy Learning

The full stop ( . ) - Easy Learning Grammar

Full stops are used:
  • to mark the end of a sentence
  • Let’s have some lunch.
  • I have to catch a bus in ten minutes.
  • to mark the end of a sentence fragment
  • Are you cold? – Yes, a bit.
  • Do you like this sort of music? Not really.
  • in initials for people’s names, although this practice is becoming less frequent
J.K. RowlingIain M. Banks
M.C. HammerRonald G. Hardie
  • after abbreviations, although this practice is becoming less frequent.
  • P.S. Do pop in next time you’re passing.
  • She’s moved to the I.T. department
  • R.S.V.P. to Helen Douglas on 01234 676240.
  • The U.S. government reacted strongly to the accusation.
When an abbreviation consists of a shortened word such as Re. or Prof., a full stop is needed.
  • Re. your suggestion that we shorten the lunch hour, could we arrange a quick meeting to discuss the various options?
  • Prof. John Johansson will be speaking on the subject of ‘Discourse in the Electronic Age’.
  • Flight BA 345: dep. 09.44 arr. 11.10.
When an abbreviation contains the last letter of the shortened word, a full stop is not needed.
Dr McDonaldSt Mary’s School
41, Douglas RdUniversal Pictures (UK) Ltd
  • Note that full stops are not used in many common sets of initials,
  • Did you see that programme on BBC 2 last night?
  • The government has promised more funding for the NHS.
or at the end of headlines, headings and titles.
  • Fear grips global stock markets
  • Teaching grammar as a liberating force
  • Wuthering Heights
Remember that a full stop, and not a question mark, is used after an indirect question or a polite request.
  • He asked if the bus had left.
  • Will you open your books on page 14.
  • I wonder what’s happened.
  • She asked him where he was going.
In American English, the full stop is called a period.

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