Punctuation Guide: Where to Use an Exclamation Point

Exclamatory sentencesDialogExclamatory remarksThree exclamation marks

Grammar and punctuation have various rules that are often challenging to remember and follow. But rules for the exclamation point aren’t that complicated.

Exclamatory sentences

Exclamatory sentences

Basic English punctuation relies on the use of exclamation marks to express feelings. People often talk emotionally, and it’s important to show this in writing:

Give it away! Have a lovely evening!

You can also have exclamation sentences with what and how:

What a beautiful melody!

Dialog

Dialog

The use of punctuation in dialog is difficult for many students. In what cases should you use an exclamation mark? It’s appropriate if a person speaks loudly or with emotions:

“Start again!” she cried.

Exclamatory remarks

Exclamatory remarks

Some authors use exclamation marks in parentheses after important ideas. It helps them to show surprise, irony, amusement, or other attitudes toward the phrase:

They didn’t arrive until 8:15 (!) that evening, I was there long before.

Three exclamation marks

Three exclamation marks

You will sometimes see three exclamation marks (also known as exclamation points) in one sentence. Though it isn’t the correct usage of punctuation, people often express their emotions with this combination of symbols.

You can see a series of exclamation marks !!! or exclamation and question marks ?!?! You should know—we don’t recommend using these combinations of points. But in this article, we want to give you an explanation of when punctuation is used this way—what does the exclamation mark mean?

Three or more exclamation marks are used to express both negative and positive emotions depending on the context. It can express surprise, anger, delight, fear, and so on. You can frequently see this in online and SMS communication.

 

According to these punctuation rules, you can always find out the exclamation mark meaning in a sentence, and when to use a single mark or more.

Use our tag cloud to find the answers to your questions quickly and easily about the exclamation point.