When to Use an Exclamation Mark (with Examples)

When to Use an Exclamation Mark (with Examples)

An exclamation mark (!) is used to indicate a sudden order, intensity of emotion (such as surprise) or volume. Typically, an exclamation mark is used to end an:

An Exclamatory Sentence
An exclamatory sentence conveys excitement or emotion. It ends with an exclamation mark. For example:
  • You're late!
  • It's a pike!
Read more about exclamatory sentences.

An Imperative Sentence
An imperative sentence issues an order. It will end in an exclamation mark to show forcefulness. For example:
  • Get out!
  • Take the dog out the kitchen this instant!
  • Please leave.
  • (This is an imperative sentence, but it does not end with an exclamation mark because the order is not forceful.)
Read more about imperative sentences.

An Interjection
Interjections are words used to express feeling or sudden emotion. They can be standalone or as part of a sentence (usually at the start). An interjection can end in an exclamation mark to express a strong feeling or emotion. For example:
  • Jeepers! That was close!
  • (This is an interjection (shaded) followed by an exclamatory sentence.)
  • No!
Read more about interjections.

See Also

What are the types of sentences? What is punctuation? What is an exclamatory sentence? What is an imperative sentence? What are interjections?