Exclamation point (!)

The main use of the exclamation point is to end sentences that express:

Ow! That hurt!

Hello! How are you?

  • direct speech that represents something shouted or spoken very loudly:

"Look up there!" she yelled.

  • something that the writer finds amusing:

Included on the list of banned items was "crochet hooks!"

An exclamation point can also be used in parentheses after a statement to show that the writer finds it funny or ironic:

He was upset because he had forgotten to set his DVR to record the Flintstones retrospective(!).

People tend to use a lot of exclamation points in informal writing such as emails or text messages, but you should avoid using them in formal writing.


Back to Punctuation.

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Question mark

Quotation marks

Parentheses and brackets

Grammar and usage