When we end a sentence with a digit; should we use full stop?

For instance, I joined Stack Exchange on 23rd May, 2017; is is correct using a semicolon or full stop at the end of the sentence?

  • 3
    Yes, you should use a full stop. If you reach the end of a sentence, you need to use one of the three terminal punctuations: the period (aka full stop), the question mark, or the exclamation mark. This is true regardless of the characters preceding the end of your sentence. The semicolon is not a terminal punctuation mark and should not be used as one.
    – Hellion
    May 23, 2017 at 15:47
  • In addition to the full stops noted by Hellion above, you can also use a semi-colon, colon, or dash where you would otherwise end a sentence if you are connecting it to a closely related, following sentence. I'm fine with your use of a semi-colon after 2017 in your question above because your two sentences are closely connected. It's not correct, however, to use a semicolon after "for instance" as you currently show above; that should be a comma.
    – Brillig
    May 23, 2017 at 16:09
  • Adding to @Hellion above, a colon could also be considered a terminal punctuation. ‘We entered the building, and what did we see? Rotten food and rats everywhere.’ Compare this to ‘We entered the building, and guess what we saw: rotten food and rats everywhere.’ Note that in the latter example, being that the sentence following the colon is not a full sentence (it lacks a subject and a verb), the sentence is not introduced with a capital letter; if we added ‘There were’ however, we would.
    – Canned Man
    Sep 2, 2020 at 20:42

1 Answer 1


Your use of semicolons in the above question is not correct. A semicolon cannot end a sentence, as it is a continuation of thought. The "full stop", or period, is the punctuation to end a sentence that makes a statement. When you use a semicolon, you are connecting two complete sentences to form one thought. Here, your sentence should look like this: "For instance, I joined Stack Exchange on 23 May, 2017; is it correct using a semicolon or full stop at the end of the sentence?" Now the answer to your original question: Your sentence should look like this: I joined Stack Exchange on 23 May, 2017.

An example of correct use of semicolon would be like this: When I joined Stack Exchange, there were many options; I was looking for the English Language option.

Hope that helps!

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