Full Stops

A full stop or period is usually used to show the end of a sentence. In this lesson, we will learn all about this punctuation mark.

What Are Full Stops in English?

What Is a Full Stop?

A full stop (also called a period in American English) is a punctuation mark (.) that is necessary to be used at the end of the sentences or statement.

When Do We Use a Full Stop?

A full stop can be used on different occasions such as:

  • At the End of a Sentence or a Statement
  • At the end of Fagment Sentences
  • In Abbreviation
  • Titles
  • Time
  • As a Decimal Point
  • In Web addresses, Software releases, Files…

At the End of a Sentence or a Statement

A full stop is used at the end of a complete sentence or in other words, at the end of a complete concept with complete meaning.Remember it is necessary for the full stop to come at the end of a sentence to let the reader know that the sentence has finished. Check out the examples:

She is beautiful and smart.

Marco was accepted to be the chef of the restaurant.

At the End of Fragment Sentences

Some sentences are not actually real sentences because they do not have subjects or verbs, but they imply complete meaning. It means, people can understand them by hearing them. These sentences are called fragment sentences and we must use a full stop at the end of them.

Are you sure it is the best idea? Absolutely not.

Yes, that's her. My one and only.

In Abbreviations and Acronyms

Full stops can be used in some abbreviations. Because in abbreviations there are some omitted letters, we usually use a letter which stands for the word, so if it is made of more than one word; we should separate them by using a full stop (period). Here are a few examples:

in. → stands for inches

lb. → stands for libra pondo (pound)

etc. → stands for et cetera


using a period in the end of titles

When we use honorific titles in written form to call somebody or refer to them, we usually use a period in the end (In American English). Here are the examples that may help you learn them:

Mr. Richard is a young policeman.

Dr. Morison is a good neurologist.


We should know that in British English the titles are usually without the full stop:

Mr Richard is a young policeman.

Dr Morison is a good neurologist.


We use "AM PM" to say the time. In British English we write them using lowercase letters and with the full stops:

a.m. , p.m. → it's 5 a.m. , it's 6 p.m.

In American English AM-PM usually is written in uppercase letters and without the full stops:

AM , PM → it's 5 AM , it's 6 PM

Both ways are correct and it just depends on how do you want to use them.

As a Decimal Point

We can use full stop as a decimal point in numberss:

He ran 3.5 Km in an hour.

%7.3 of the crowd were wearing a hat.

In web addresses, software releases, files…




Chrome 92.2.45

Common Mistakes with Full stops

Common Mistake #1

Remember, with acronyms and initials, we do not usually use a period. For example:

United States of America → USA


Common Mistake #2

With quotation marks, we use the period inside the quotation marks. Check out the example:

❌She said, "you have to be patient".

✔She said, "you have to be patient."

Also pay attention to the following examples:

❌“I’m very angry.” She said.

✔“I’m very angry,” she said.

Common Mistake #3

When an abbreviation has a period in the end and it is also used at the end of the sentence, then you should use only one full stop (period) at the end of the sentence. for example:

❌ I had to go on a date at 7:00 p.m..

✔ I had to go on a date at 7:00 p.m.

Common Mistake #4

The first letter after a period has to be capitalized. Here is the example:

I talked to Jimmy. He was happy and fulfilled.

Common Mistake #5

We should remember that there is no space before full stop and one space after it, know that the first letter after the full stop must be capitalized:

✔This is my new dress. It's very beautiful.


In the world war when the governments were using telegraph to communicate, instead of a (.) full stop they used to just write the word “STOP”.
Later because this caused many misunderstandings they replaced it with the full stop (.) that we know today.


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