The Exclamation Mark

The exclamation mark is used to express exasperation, astonishment, or surprise, or to emphasise a comment or short, sharp phrase. In professional or everyday writing, exclamation marks are used sparingly if at all.

Examples
  • Help! Help!
  • That's unbelievable!
  • Get out!
  • Look out!

You can also use exclamation marks to mark a phrase as humourous, ironic or sarcastic.

Examples
  • What a lovely day! (when it obviously is not a lovely day)
  • That was clever! (when someone has done something stupid)

In very informal writing styles (SMS, chat, Twitter or Facebook, etc.), an exclamation mark is sometimes combined with a question mark to indicate both surprise and slight uncertainty. Double and triple exclamation marks are common in very informal writing styles, but are a sign of being uneducated in less casual correspondance.

Examples of casual writing
  • He's getting married!?
  • That's insane!!!