In this article, I found the following sentence:

Specifically, Hello, which was U+0048 U+0065 U+006C U+006C U+006F, will be stored as 48 65 6C 6C 6F, which, behold! is the same as it was stored in ASCII, and ANSI, and every OEM character set on the planet.
(emphasis added)

The exclamation mark appears in the middle of a sentence, and from the context, it clearly doesn't end the preceding sentence and start a new one. Now consider below:

  1. Behold this! It is a carrot.
  2. Behold this! for it is a carrot.

It looks like 1. consists of two sentences, and 2. consists of a single sentence, with the exclamation mark.

Are both these usages correct? What is the rule regarding when an exclamation mark ends a sentence, and when it doesn't?

  • 2
    You'd think he'd fix his article, since it's been out of date almost as long as it's been online and people still refer to it in 2015...
    – user230
    Commented Apr 27, 2015 at 10:40

2 Answers 2


Generally an exclamation mark means the end of a sentence. However, in a few unusual cases it can be used for emphasis in the middle of a sentence, like in your first example, where it has a slightly comedic, overdramatic effect as it imitates Biblical language.

See https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/25232/exclamation-marks-in-the-middle-of-a-sentence for more examples.


Yes, an exclamation point marks the end of a sentence, when used correctly. The example did not use it correctly. The punctuation doesn't seem to flow properly; however, we can discern what the writer meant.

How could he have properly used the exclamation point, and still placed it in mid-sentence? Like this:

Hello, which was....wll be stored as....which (Behold!) is the same as...

Thus the exclamation is a complete, punctuated sentence, encapsulated as a parenthetical remark within the main sentence.

As for your carrot examples: #1 is good; #2 is not. Especially when you start with "behold", the exclamation makes a complete sentence. Or you could try "Behold—a carrot!

  • The carrot example is taken from Rowan Atkinson's stand-up comedy act "Amazing Jesus". :)
    – Masked Man
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 11:14

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