Based on the definition of Cambridge dictionary for the "imperative sentence":

a sentence that gives a command or gives a request to do something.

Then, as far as I can see, command or request giving should end with exclamation mark. Isn't it? If it is, then can I say that imperative sentences should end with exclamation mark or there is / are exception/s?

  • 4
    An imperative is an imperative regardless of punctuation. "Go to your room," he said, his voice muted with repressed rage The exclamation point only means it would be spoken loudly.
    – Andrew
    Mar 7, 2018 at 16:38
  • 1
    In older grammars of European languages it was conventional to point imperatives with a '!', presumably as a hint to students. But the '!' has never been obligatory. Mar 7, 2018 at 16:57
  • Indeed, I found a similar full answer here: examples.yourdictionary.com/imperative-sentence-examples.html Mar 7, 2018 at 17:08
  • I don't see how the definition for imperative sentence implies the use of an exclamation mark without some unstated assumption on your part like the one mentioned by @StoneyB
    – eques
    Mar 7, 2018 at 18:25
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the answer is readily apparent by looking up examples online. Mar 10, 2018 at 5:15

1 Answer 1


Imperative sentences may end in either an exclamation point or a period (sometimes called a full stop). The exclamation point provides emphasis, and usually implies the speaker is yelling, as in "Stop, thief!". The period is probably more common, as in "Please pass the salt." If you're not sure, the period is probably the best option.

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