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What is end punctuation?

End punctuation appears at the end of a complete sentence (independent clause) or follows an interjection. The appropriate placement of a period, question mark, or exclamation point separates one statement from another and signals a pause in the word flow. Correct use of end punctuation contributes to the order and readability of the text.

  • A declarative sentence that makes a statement ends with a period.
    • The instructor sent an email to her students to ask them to participate in a mid-semester survey.
  • An interrogative sentence that asks a question ends with a question mark.
    • Where is the nearest recycling bin for paper?
  • An imperative sentence that issues a command may end with a period or exclamation point.
    • Get up and take a break from staring at the computer screen.
    • Look out for the ice!
  • An exclamatory sentence that expresses strong emotion ends with an exclamation point.
    • I can’t wait to get home for spring break!
  • An interjection that expresses strong emotion may be followed by an exclamation point even though it is not a complete sentence.
    • Oh no! I left my paper on my desk in my dorm room.