Exclamation Mark (!) Exclamation Point: Rules & Useful Examples

Exclamation Mark (Exclamation Point) in English! Learn definition, examples and rules on when to use the exclamation point – one of the most punctuation marks in English.

Exclamation Mark Definition

The exclamation mark (!), which is also known as the exclamation point, looks like a period with a vertical bar above it.

It is a punctuation mark which is used to express strong feelings or emotions. It is commonly used after interjections or exclamations.

This punctuation mark is used to show emphasis. It can be used in the middle of a sentence or at the end of a sentence.

In addition, the exclamation mark can also be used in very informal writing or to express irony, humour or sarcasm. It is one of the most misused punctuation marks in the English language. We tend to use exclamation marks more often than what is required. The following cases demonstrate the correct usage of this punctuation.

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When to Use an Exclamation Mark

Rule #1. The exclamation point should be mainly used to demonstrate shock, surprise, anger or a raised voice.

  • Shock: There’s been a terrible accident!
  • Surprise: Oh my God! What a fantastic birthday gift!
  • Anger: What is wrong with you! Stop writing on the walls.
  • Urgency: Watch out for traffic signs! If you don’t, you could die!

Rule #2. The exclamation mark is used at the end of a strong command.

  • Go away! I don’t want to talk to you!
  • Shut Up!
  • Get off my bed!
  • Stop!

Rule #3. The exclamation mark is used at the end of an interjection.

  • Hey! Stop playing tricks on me!
  • Ouch! That hurts!
  • I’ve had it with your lies!

Pay attention:

#1. If the exclamation point is part of a title of work or a proper noun, the comma should be retained.

His latest short story, “Don’t Make a Sound!,” is his most suspenseful yet.

#2. Do not use the exclamation point with a period (full stop), comma, colon, or semicolon.

  • Incorrect: John shouted: “Watch out!.”
  • Incorrect: “Watch out!,” John shouted.
  • Correct: “Watch out!” John shouted.
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