What is a question mark

Period, question mark, exclamation mark

Basically the rules are too Period, question mark and exclamation mark very easy. But that doesn't mean there aren't a few pitfalls here that you should avoid. You should take a closer look every now and then, especially at the exclamation mark.

Tip: By the way, there is no space in front of the punctuation mark; you have to put a space behind it.


The question mark is - correctly - after a question. It is irrelevant whether this question is introduced with a question word or not. It also doesn't matter whether the questioner expects an answer or not. On the other hand, you must not use a question mark for indirect questions: "She asked whether this made sense." If you express a request with the question or it is an exclamation point, put an exclamation mark: "Can't it get better anytime soon!"

The point

The period ends an ordinary sentence. However, it is not set for free lines, for example for headings or closing formulas in letters. If your sentence ends with an abbreviation with a full stop or an ellipsis, the full stop is also dropped: "Cars, buses, bicycles, etc." and "If we could as we want ..."

The exclamation mark

Like the point, an exclamation mark closes a sentence, but it should be given special emphasis. This also applies to prompts: the more clearly you want to pronounce the prompt, the more likely you are to put an exclamation mark. An exclamation mark is also usually inserted after interjections such as “Ah!” Or “Oh!”. This punctuation mark is often used inflationarily. In some letters it can be found behind almost every sentence. It is better to be stingy with it, otherwise its effect wears off quickly. Imagine if a speaker would end each of his sentences with particular emphasis and always insert a meaningful pause afterwards - he would achieve the opposite of what he actually wanted, his statements are not weighted. At worst, it looks ridiculous. The same thing happens if there are too many exclamation marks in the text.