Full Stops

The use of full stops

A full stop is used to show that you have come to the end of a sentence. We use sentences all the time. It can be difficult, however, to define one exactly.

In its simplest form a sentence is a group of words that can stand on its own and make sense. A sentence must have a subject and a verb. A sentence always begins with a capital letter and always ends with a full stop. In its simplest form a sentence might look like these:


The dog barked.
The dog barked at the postman.

‘dog’ is the subject of the verb ‘barked’ and ‘postman’ is the object. Each of these starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop.

Full stops are also used to show that you have shortened or abbreviated words. There are two types of abbreviations that use full stops…


You can put a full stop after the first letter of each abbreviated word:

A.A. – Automobile Association.
R.S.P.C.A. – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

A full stop can also be used after a selected group of letters from a word to show that the word has been abbreviated:

Aug. – August
Dept. – Department
Ltd. –  Limited
Sgt. – Sergeant