Exclamation point definition: An exclamation point, also called an exclamation mark, is type of punctuation used to show emphasis.
What is an Exclamation Point?
What does exclamation point mean? An exclamation point, sometimes called an exclamation mark, is a type of punctuation used in the English language.
The exclamation point is often used as a type of end punctuation (denoting the end of a sentence); however, it has other uses as well.
The exclamation point shows emphasis to convey emotion. Statements with exclamation points should be spoke or read with greater force.
Notice the difference between these two sentences:
- No, I do not want to go.
- No! I do not want to go!
The first sentence might be a kind refusal. The second is an emphatic denial.
When to Use an Exclamation Point?
The following outlines appropriate uses for the exclamation point.
What is an exclamatory sentence? The exclamatory sentence is the most frequent use of the exclamation point in writing. An exclamation point at the end of a sentence makes it an exclamatory sentence and changes the tone of the sentence.
Long sentences should not have exclamation points. They cause too much tension in the sentence to be effective.
- I love you!
- She hates chocolate!
- Let’s go to the beach!
What is an imperative sentence? An imperative sentence is a command. Not all imperative statements use exclamation points. However, using an exclamation point at the end of an imperative sentence is a way to show more force.
- Don’t touch that!
- Get away from me!
- Eat your dinner!
What is an interjection? An interjection interrupts speech and is an abrupt remark. Not all interjections use exclamation points. However, using an exclamation point at the end of an interjection sentence is a way to show more force.
- No! That is not what I said.
- Oh! I didn’t realize that.
- Yes! Let’s have a party.
When Should You Not Use Exclamation Points?
Because exclamation points denote force and emphasis, they must be used sparingly.
If every sentence used an exclamation point, it would seem like the speaker is constantly yelling.
Similarly, using an exclamation point changes the tone. Using consistent exclamation points would not provide a change in tone.
Exclamation points should not be used in formal writing, business writing, or technical writing. Similarly, they should not be used in formal speech.
However, exclamation points are effective when used properly in dialogue or casual prose.
Never Use Multiple Exclamations
Multiple exclamation points do not have any place in formal writing. Like any other punctuation mark, they should be used only once to show reflect their purpose. That is, one use is enough.
No one uses two periods or two commas, so two exclamation points are not necessary.
Examples to Avoid:
Good writers use exclamation points sparingly so they keep their punch and reinforce their purpose.
Examples with Exclamation Points
Below are a few examples where it is logical and practical to use exclamation points.
- She responded with excitement, “I can’t wait to get married!”
- “We’re going on vacation!” shouted Susan.
- “That is unacceptable!” screamed my boss.
Summary: What are Exclamation Points?
Define exclamation point: the definition of exclamation point is a type of punctuation used to indicate an exclamation.
In summary, an exclamation point is a type of punctuation in the English language. It denotes force or emphasis and, consequently, should be used sparingly.