Punctuation For Beginners: All About Full Stops


Welcome to the second post in the series: Punctuation For Beginners. Last week, we discussed what punctuation is and why we need it.

Punctuation marks are tools that have set functions and they give sentences meaning and rhythm. I will be writing about them in the coming weeks, so look out for them every Tuesday. (Sign up for our newsletter to get our Daily Writing Links, and you won’t miss out.)

Today, I will be writing about The Full Stop

What is a full stop?

A full stop is a punctuation mark (.)

Full Stops:

  1. Indicate the end of a sentence.
  2. Indicate the end of a fragment.
  3. Are used in some abbreviations.
  4. Are used in website addresses.

End Of A Sentence

A sentence always contains a subject and a finite verb. In order to check if you have a subject, ask who or what before the verb. A pronoun may replace this subject. A sentence always starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. Example: She asked him to slow down.

End Of A Fragment

If there is no subject or verb, it is a fragment, not a sentence. It also begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop. The full stop marks the end of a group of words that are used for emphasis. Examples: The children slept. No sound. A time of peace and contentment.

Tip: In formal writing, avoid using fragments. In fiction, use them often for specific effect.

Suggested reading: What Is A Sentence Fragment?

Abbreviations

An abbreviation is a shortened version of a word. It usually ends with a full stop. However, in British English we only add a full stop if it does not end with the last letter of the word. Examples: Use the full stop for Jan. and Prof., but not for Mr and Mrs

Suggested reading: Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Initialisms and Commonly Confused Abbreviations

Website Addresses

Example: www.writerswrite.co.za

Next week, I will write about The Comma.

If you want to improve your writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme

 by Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. Punctuation For Beginners: What Is Punctuation?
  2. Grammar For Beginners: All About Nouns
  3. 10 Extra Ways To Proofread Your Writing Like A Boss