Period
(also called Full Stop)

Rules and Examples

Punctuation marks The period looks like a small dot ( . ). The period is the most common form of punctuation used to end a sentence in the English language. Periods are also used for abbreviations and website addresses. 

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The period is also known as a full stop because it signals a speaker or reader that the sentence has come to an end.

Examples:
  • The dog is brown.
  • My sister's name is Lisa.
  • The baby is crying.

When to use periods

1. We use a period at the end of sentences that are statements.

A statement is a sentence that states, or tells, something.

Examples:
  • I like to eat pizza.
  • School starts on Wednesday.
  • The baby's name is Grace.


2. We use a period at the end of sentences that are commands.

A command is a sentence that tells someone to do something.

Examples:
  • Pick up the blue ball.
  • Turn left at the next light.
  • Hand me the pencil.


3. We use a period at the end of sentences that are indirect questions.

An indirect question is a question that is said as a statement. It uses a period instead of a question mark.

Examples:
  • She asked me why I didn't go to school yesterday.
  • I wondered why Bob wasn't there.
  • Tim asked about that book.


4. We use periods in abbreviations.

An abbreviation is a shortened version of a word or words.

Examples:
  • United States of America is abbreviated U.S.A.
  • Mr. is the abbreviation for Mister.
  • Rd. is the abbreviation for road.


5. We use periods in website addresses.

Examples:
  • www.dictionary.com
  • www.learnersdictionary.com
  • www.really-learn-english.com


How to use a period in sentences

1) Do not put a space before a period used to end a sentence.
  • Correct: The shirt is blue.
  • Incorrect: The shirt is blue .
2) Do put one space after the period if it is followed by another sentence.
  • Correct: I am driving to the city. The city is north of here.
  • Incorrect: I am driving to the city.The city is north of here.
  • Incorrect: I am driving to the city.     The city is north of here.
Why is the period important?

Why is the period important?

1) If you do not use a period at the end of a sentence, each sentence will run into the next. That would create confusion for the speaker or reader. The period signals the end of a thought.

Example without periods:
  • I visited my friend in the city she lives with her mom they rent an apartment on     the south side of town we had a nice visit I hope I can return next year

    (You can breath now! :-)
Example with periods:
  • I visited my friend in the city. She lives with her mom. They rent an apartment on     the south side of town. We had a nice visit. I hope I can return next year.


2) Abbreviations without periods would be random letters placed together without making a word. The period or periods in an abbreviation signal to the reader that it is a shortened form of a word or words.


3) Websites will not work without periods. You must place a period in all correct places for the internet addresses to be correct.   


These were the uses of the period. Now that you know them, it is time to practice! Do the Full Stops and Capitalization Worksheet and Answer Key.

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