Is it ok to use an exclamation mark in the middle of a sentence like in the following? (first exclamation mark)

"Hurry!" said Mark," we can't be late!"

Or in:

Hurry! we need to go!

  • I'm not sure if your question is even a question. Feb 24 '16 at 23:30
  • I mean the first exclamation mark.
    – aqua
    Feb 24 '16 at 23:32
  • Here's a question to ponder... How many sentances are in the line you are referring to? Feb 24 '16 at 23:34
  • I fixed it please take another look.
    – aqua
    Feb 24 '16 at 23:38

That's not an exclamation mark in the middle of a sentence, that's two separate sentences. English has an imperative mood and exclamations like "Hurry!" or "Run!" are complete sentences as the subject is implied and the predicate is the only word in the sentence. You should write "Hurry!" said Mark, "We can't be late!" or "Hurry! We need to go!" as "We can't be late!" and "We need to go!" are independent sentences from

  • If it is two sentences, which one do the words said Mark belong to? I would treat it as one sentence, but would not trouble with an exclamation mark after Hurry, as you already have one at the end of the sentence anyway. *"Hurry", said Mark, "we can't be late"! Note I have placed the exclamation mark after the final quotation marks.
    – WS2
    Feb 24 '16 at 23:51
  • @ws2 it's 3 sentences. "Hurry!" is 1 complete imperative sentence. "We can't be late" is a second. Both are quoted within a 3rd narrative sentence. Feb 24 '16 at 23:54
  • 1
    @WS2 the placement of the quotation mark varies with the style guide you use. I prefer to have them within the quotes. Additionally, there exists an incredibly obscure punctuation mark called the exclamation comma which would be best used here, but it's not standardly accepted, so I think that going with either a comma or an exclamation mark works here. It truly comes down to stylistic preference.
    – Eli Sadoff
    Feb 24 '16 at 23:55
  • @H.R.Rambler Sentences within sentences? That's a new one on me!
    – WS2
    Feb 25 '16 at 0:00
  • 1
    @ws2 ... You understand that I was giving a second (more extreme) example to emphasize the principle that I referred to, and that you doubted the existence of... Right? Ps. This is a rhetorical question. I'm not overly concerned if you not "getting it". Just stick the idea in the back of your mind, and some day when you're reading you'll notice and say "wow quotes create sentences inside of sentences! Those internet guys were right!". Feb 25 '16 at 13:02

Never ok to use exclamation point in middle of a sentence

It is never ok to use an exclamation mark in the middle of a sentence. The exclamation mark always defines the end of the sentence, regardless of your intentions.


There are two cases where you might safely place exclamation marks elsewhere in a sentence.

The first special case: the mark forms part of a title or name. For example, Jeb Bush added an exclamation mark to his name to help his US presidential campaign.

In the sentence 'The Jeb! campaign fizzled', the exclamation mark is permitted, and the next word, campaign, isn't capitalised.

The second special case: For a special effect or comic book effect; Biff! Pow! Proink!

But even then, the exclamation mark defines the end of the phrase/sentence.

Your first example sentence

You actually have three sentences or sentence/phrases here.

The first is "Hurry!" The exclamation mark defines the end of the sentence/phrase.

The second is " we cant be late!" In this sentence you ought to

  • close the space between the opening quotes and the we

  • capitalise we, and

  • add a space between the Mark, and 'We...}

The third sentence is the complete narrator's voice, from the first to last quotes.

Your second example

Your second example sentence: capitalise "we" and it's grammatically fine.

  • Use parentheses to use an exclamation point in the midst of a sentence. We had all just turned 21, so it was time to go out to the bars-except for Jason who was still only 20 (but he had a fake, so he came, too!).
    – Stu W
    Feb 25 '16 at 1:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.