We’ve come to the end. When to use a full stop

To finish off the year we’re looking at the full stop. Ha ha ha. I hear you chortle. If there’s one bit of punctuation I know how to use it’s the full stop. Aaaah. That may be the case but do you know when not to use it? Ok, here we go eyes down.

Use a full stop:

At the end of complete sentence.

Between words when you’re making a dramatic point: Like. Oh. My. God.

After abbreviations: Ibid. e.g. No.7.

Inside a bracket if it’s a complete sentence: She wore a red dress. (The other girl wore a blue one.)

Outside a bracket if the sentence is incomplete: She wore a red dress (and the other girl wore a blue one).

Outside quotation marks if the full stop is not part of the quote: Shakespeare wrote “now is the winter of our discontent”. (This differs from Americans who always put a full stop inside the quote marks, whether it belongs or not. Grrrrr.)

Don’t use a full stop: 

When there’s another punctuation mark there already: Hooray! Huh?

For abbreviations like Dr, Mr or St

For acronyms or abbreviations if the word is well known: BBC, NATO, UK

In titles, headings or sub-headings.

If a title or abbreviation has its own punctuation: It was in a report by Which?

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