Exclamation point (!)

The main use of the exclamation point is to end sentences that express:
  • an exclamation:
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 VCR to tape the Flintstones retrospective(!).
People tend to use a lot of exclamation points in informal writing such as e-mails or text messages, but you should avoid using them in formal writing.


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Grammar and usage