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 used at the end of sentences or statement.

Full Stop: Uses

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

  • At the end of a sentence or a statement
  • At the end of fragment sentences
  • In abbreviations
  • In titles
  • Time
  • As a decimal point
  • In web addresses, software releases, files, etc.

At the End of a Sentence or Statement

A full stop is used at the end of a complete sentence with a complete meaning. Remember, the full stop is necessary 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 hired as 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 convey a complete meaning. 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

Full stops can be used in abbreviations to indicate the omission of letters. When abbreviating a phrase that consists of multiple words, we typically use a letter to represent each word and separate them with a full stop. Here are a few examples:

a.m. → stands for ante meridiem (before noon)

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 address or refer to somebody, we usually use a period after them (in American English). Here are the examples:

Mr. Richard is a young policeman.

Dr. Morison is a good neurologist.


In British English, the titles usually appear without a full stop:

Mr Richard is a young policeman.

Dr Morison is a good neurologist.


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

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

In American English AM/PM are usually written in uppercase letters and without full stops:

AM , PM → it's 5 AM , it's 6 PM

Both forms are correct and their usage depends on the variety of English you are using.

As a Decimal Point

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

He ran 3.5 Km in an hour.

%7.3 of the crowd were wearing a hat.

In Web Addresses, Software Releases, Files

We also use full stops when writing website addresses, versions of software, IP addresses, and format of files. For example:




Chrome 92.2.45

Common Errors

Common Error #1

Do not confuse abbreviations with acronyms. We do not use full stops with acronyms and initials. For example:

United States of America → USA


Common Error #2

When reporting direct speech, the period is put 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 Error #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 at the end of the sentence. for example:

❌ I had a date at 7:00 p.m..

✔ I had a date at 7:00 p.m.

Common Error #4

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

I talked to Jimmy. He was happy and fulfilled.

Common Error #5

There is no space before the full stop and one space after it.

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


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