Proper English sentences can end with various types of punctuation characters: periods ("."), question-marks ("?"), exclamations ("!"), etc.

Is there a proper terminology for these kinds of sentence-terminating punctuation characters?

  • Ending punctuations?
  • Terminating punctuations?
  • Finalizers?

Thanks in advance!

1 Answer 1


I have seen it called, among other things,

In fact, I have found a similar mix of terminology across fields— music, informatics, linguistics, writing— and across levels from elementary school to postgraduate study, and so will venture to say that there is no single preferred term. You will find several of these terms, and others, used within the Chicago Manual of Style Q&A blog itself.

I think the concept is well-understood among audiences who would care about punctuation in the first place, so my advice is to simply pick one term and be consistent with it.

  • RHK Webster's has: stop 39. any of various marks used as punctuation at the end of a sentence, esp. a period. Dec 13, 2013 at 17:06

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