What if an abbreviation is at the end of a declarative sentence? Should I duplicate a full stop sign? If the following sentence begins with a proper noun, not putting two periods may be confusing, in theory.

Edit: It used to be 'contraction' instead of 'abbreviation'.

2 Answers 2


No, don't duplicate the full stop, even if it is potentially confusing. If necessary and possible, rephrase to avoid the issue, either by expanding the abbreviation, or by using a synonym, or re-ordering the words.

However, it is rarely confusing as there are other grammatical indicators of the end of a sentence. It is usually possible to insert full stops in a paragraph which has no punctuation (and this is sometimes done as an exercise for learners)

Here are some examples of rephrasing

Peter bought eggs, cheese, etc. John bought the wine. (has abbreviation point acting as full stop, but there is little chance of confusion.)

Peter bought eggs, cheese, et cetera. John bought the wine (expand abbreviation)

Peter bought eggs, cheese and so on. John bought the wine. (synonym)

Eggs, cheese, etc. were bought by Peter. John bought the wine. (reorder, using the passive)

John bought the wine. Peter bought eggs, cheese, etc. (reorder paragraph)


I think you mean an abbreviation and not a contraction. An contraction does not have a period. It has an apostrophe to indicate where letters have been omitted.

For example, "don't" is a contraction for "do not". We don't write a period after "don't". The apostrophe shows that it's a contraction.

"Mr." is an abbreviation for "mister". It has a period.

But to answer your question: No, the convention is that if a sentence ends with an abbreviation, we just put one period. Could this create ambiguity? Possibly. A sentence must begin with a capital letter, so that would signal to the reader that this is a new sentence even without the period. It could happen that you have a word that would be capitalized even if it was in the middle of a sentence, like a person's name, so that it could be ambiguous or confusing. Fortunately this happens rarely enough that it's just not a big deal.

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