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Full stops, question marks and exclamation marks

Use one – and only one – full stop or question mark at the end of a sentence.

When does the bus arrive?

We went home at 5pm.

Use a full stop, not a question mark, at the end of a reported question:

They asked him if the budget would increase.

Use a full stop, not an exclamation mark, at the end of a reported command:

She shouted at me to wait for her.

If a URL or email address is at the end of a sentence you can use a full stop – but never put it in bold unless the whole sentence is:

Please see more information at

Never use a full stop if it will be followed or preceded by an ellipsis:

Behind him stood a gure... It was ghostly grey.

She wasn't quite sure what would happen next...

When it comes to exclamation marks, avoid them altogether. They look like you're shouting! Or angry! Or, as F Scott Fitzgerald said, like you're laughing at your own jokes. And they can trivialise your message.

Only use them if they're part of a book or film title:

Help! is a great album.

We're staying in to watch Mamma Mia! tonight.

Similarly, never use an interrobang (?! or !?)

You don't want me to use an interrobang?!