A period is like a stop sign that says, "Stop here. This is the end."
Use a period…
- at the end of statements. (Jose and Margarita had eaten a Mexican dinner at their grandmother's home.)
- in polite commands. (Henrietta, please feed the hungry cats.)
- after abbreviations. (Mr. Jacobus, Dr. Robertson, Sept. 10, Barnhill Baking Co., 23 lbs., 19 in., 4 oz., 7 cm.)
When your teacher says, "Come here," he or she is using a polite command. When you are running away from a police officer and he or she says, "Come here!", the emotion is stronger, and the command isn't polite. In that case, you would use an exclamation point.
Use a question mark…
- after a direct question
- ("Jennifer, do you have an extra rainbow colored pen?")
- ("Are you going to the birthday party?")
- ("Why didn't you feed the starving cats?")
Don't use a question mark…
- after an indirect question
- (I asked Jennifer if she had an extra rainbow colored pen.)
- (Larry wanted to know if you were coming over with us tomorrow night.)
- (The interested stewardess asked the man what kind of book he was reading.)
Even though there is some asking going on, these are not direct questions. They are statements explaining questions that were asked. Let's look at those three indirect questions again.
Instructions: Click on each statement to see how they would be punctuated if they were direct questions.
Use an exclamation point…
- to express strong emotions (Gosh! Wow! Oh!).
- for commands (March! Stop! Forward!).
Instructions: At the end of each sentence, select the correct punctuation mark: period, question mark, or exclamation point.
How much money do you have in your bank account
My favorite classic movie is Gone With The Wind
This is a statement so you need a period.
The landlord yelled, "Get out of the apartment"
The landlord sounds mad! This is a command said with emotion so you need an an exclamation point.
Please hand me the box of Kleenex
This is a politely worded command so you need a period.
I want you to leave right now. Go
This is a command said with urgency. It is meant to be taken seriously so you need an exclamation point.
Was that a stop sign
Who told you that I wanted to go out for pizza
Bob wondered when Carol was coming home from work
This is an indirect question so treat it like a statement and use a period.
Mom shouted, "Get your chores done before I get home or you will be grounded"
Mom sounds like she wants to be taken seriously so use an exclamation point.
Would you be interested in buying a magazine
This is a question so you need a question mark.