How do we end one-word sentences? Should there be a full stop or another punctuation mark? or can I just use it without any punctuation mark?

I usually say "Done." in response to emails where I'm requested to do something. For example, when I'm asked to do a translation I would just reply "Translation done!" instead of writing "The translation has been done." is that grammatically correct?

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    You called them "sentences,' didn't you? Then they need a terminating punctuation mark, just as any other sentence. Done. – Kris Jan 20 '14 at 7:20
  • "Translation done!" is not a one-word sentence. Right? – Kris Jan 20 '14 at 7:21
  • Right. I just wanted to take this chance to explain what I really wanted to say. Thanks! – Xemnarth Jan 20 '14 at 7:29

"Done." is a completely valid and grammatically correct "sentence." Technically a sentence must contain a subject and a verb, but the subject is implied and understood from the preceding discussion.

"Translation done." is not grammatically correct. At this point, I think it would be expected that you have a verb to complete the sentence. You sort of have to commit to one or the other.

After the comments, I'm updating this to explain why I would not say "Translation done." I've always been taught that "done," as a past participle, should not occur without an auxiliary verb. The exception provided for one-word sentences is accepted by most. But by adding another word without a verb it becomes a fragment, not a special type of sentence. If you find that acceptable, use it!

To me, "Translation done" is no more correct than the following:

I done.

It done.

We done.

"Mission accomplished" is a complete sentence, not a fragment.

None of this is to say that the recipient of your email wouldn't understand what you meant. In an office setting, I wouldn't hesitate using "Translation done." But I would do so knowing it was not grammatically correct.

But to your question, you can use any punctuation available to you in normal sentences.

  1. Period


  2. Exclamation point


  3. Question mark


  • What about using just "Translated." instead of "Translation done." or "The request has been completed."? Is it grammatically correct now? – Xemnarth Jan 20 '14 at 7:31
  • @Xemnarth "The request has been completed" would be undeniably grammatically correct. I would argue "Translated." is also fine, supposing of course that what was translated can be readily inferred. – emsoff Jan 20 '14 at 7:41
  • "Translation done!", "Job done" and "Mission accomplished!" are as acceptable as 'Done!", 'Tomorrow' or 'Yes' in the right contexts, as they convey a fact clearly. All are sentence fragments, and do not need to conform to grammatical requirements for sentences proper (though non-standard, outlandish strings should obviously be avoided, as should excessive use). – Edwin Ashworth Jan 20 '14 at 8:53
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    I don't see a grammatical difference between "Translation done" and "Mission accomplished" (unless the latter is intended to say that the mission has accomplished something). The former is a compressed version of "The translation is done" and the latter is a compressed version of "The mission is accomplished." – Andreas Blass Jan 20 '14 at 22:56
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    Screw it. I will just say "Done" or "Translation/task/job completed". – Xemnarth Jan 21 '14 at 5:30

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