Full stops (periods) in abbreviations
Abbreviations can be written with or without full stops (periods ) - be consistent.

Full Stops (Periods) in Abbreviations

It is considered untidy to mix abbreviations with full stops and ones without full stops in the same article. The first two examples below are both correct, because the writer has been consistent.


The band travelled around UK and USA last year.

The band travelled around U.K. and U.S.A. last year.  

It was only shown on ITV and not B.B.C.
(inconsistent use of full stops (periods) - considered untidy) 

The M.D. insisted that his PA had left by 4 o'clock. 
(inconsistent - considered untidy)

The Tendency

Abbreviations made up of capital letters tend not to have full stops; whereas, abbreviations made up of lowercase letters tend to have them.

BBC / LRS (Linear Recursive Sequence) / BUPA
(This is a tendency not a rule.)

a.m. / i.e. / e.g. / p.m. / p.p.
(This is a tendency not a rule.)

In general, you have a choice whether to use full stops or not. However, when an abbreviation is a company title, you should copy the version the company uses.

Please remind me to renew my BUPA policy on Saturday.
(Note: BUPA does not use full stops in "BUPA" in its own correspondence.)


The abbreviation i.e. (id est) means in other words or that is to say; whereas e.g. (exempli gratia) means 'for example'. Do not confuse the two.

It happened in August, i.e., two months

All amphibians are thriving in the new pond; e.g., two bullfrogs were spotted yesterday.

They all passed easily, i.e., Jane scored 80%.

See the lesson on e.g. and i.e.

The abbreviation etc. is a contraction of et cetera. However, it is often mistakenly written as ect. (This is because many people pronounce it eccetra.)

For a small monthly bonus, you can present staff with shop tokens, flowers, chocolates, theatre tickets, ect.

(Note: It is normal to include the full stop with etc.)

If using full stops (periods) in abbreviations, ensure you give the last letter a full stop too.

    should be M.O.T.
        (garage sign)

See also:

Using AD, BC, BCE and CE
Full stops (periods) in contractions
Forming the plurals of abbreviations