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Ending a Sentence with an Abbreviation

Does the period that ends the abbreviation also end the sentence?

By
Mignon Fogarty,

Ending a Sentence with an Abbreviation

When you end a sentence with an abbreviation, you don't need an extra period.

  • Apple Computer, Inc. became Apple, Inc.. (wrong)
  • Apple Computer, Inc. became Apple, Inc. (right)

The period that ends the abbreviation also ends the sentence. Think of it as an environmentally friendly rule—one dot of ink serves two purposes.

Even though such sentences are correct, they can confuse readers who may not realize you've ended the sentence. It's best to write out the abbreviated word if it falls at the end of a sentence or to rewrite the sentence so the abbreviation doesn't come at the end.

The story is different when the sentence is a question or exclamation—then you need both punctuation marks:

  • Why did they choose Apple, Inc.?
  • I adore their name: Apple, Inc.!

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Abbreviations, Initialisms, and Acronyms
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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips network and creator of Grammar Girl, which has been named one of Writer's Digest's 101 best websites for writers multiple times. The Grammar Girl podcast has also won Best Education Podcast multiple times in the Podcast Awards, and Mignon is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame. Mignon is the author of the New York Times best-seller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" and six other books on writing. She has appeared as a guest on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the "Today Show" and has been featured in the New York Times, Business Week, the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN.com, and more. She was previously the chair of media entrepreneurship in the Reynolds School of Journalism in Reno, NV. She hates the phrase "grammar nazi" and loves the word "kerfuffle." She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. Mignon believes that learning is fun, and the vast rules of grammar are wonderful fodder for lifelong study. 

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