Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you have trouble with punctuation in English?

Punctuation can be very tricky!

Listen in today and learn the skills to use punctuation properly in the business world.

Punctuation and business

Michelle asks Lindsay if she is confident when it comes to punctuation.

Lindsay answers that for the most part she is.

However, she also uses Grammarly to help her be on point with her punctuation game.

Michelle shares that in a past episode, she told the story when a teacher called her comma happy.

This was because Michelle liked to use commas a lot.

Today Lindsay and Michelle are going to talk about periods, dots, and points.

These marks are really important for business writing.

You may be using these on presentation slides, in a report, and many other ways.

Check out episode BE 240: How to Be Fiercely Competitive About Your English to bring your Business English to a higher level.

Today’s question

Today’s episode is inspired by a listener’s question:

Hello girls. I really love your podcast and I’ve been telling everybody about you. I have a question: what’s the difference and uses of the words: period, dot and point. Thanks a lot.

Velkan Belmont

When referring to punctuation, all of these mean the same thing.

Lindsay and Michelle will dive deeper into some nuances of them today.

Using punctuation

There is a difference between when we say “period,” “dot,” and “point.”

#1: Period

When someone says period or uses a period, they are ending a sentence.

This also shows that something is definitive.

It can sound harsh at times.

People use this as an expression to say something is final.


  • This is the final decision. Period.
  • Let’s put a period at the end of that sentence.
  • We have to cancel this membership. Period.

#2: Dot

The word “dot” is mostly used with letters and websites.

You might hear someone say “cross your T’s and dot your I’s.”

This is an idiomatic expression which means to double check everything is correct.


  • Oh that’s a J? I couldn’t tell without the dot.
  • Go to to hear more!

#3: Point

This is commonly used in math and numbers.


  • There was a .37 (“point three seven”) percent decrease in our sales this past month.
  • Okay enter in this number 3.671 (“three point six seven one”).


A quick roleplay is shared by Lindsay and Michelle using the tips shared in today’s episode.

In this roleplay, Lindsay and Michelle are coworkers discussing in a meeting.

Lindsay: So we need to make sure we really proofread everything before it is sent out. We have to make sure we don’t miss anything – all periods, commas, semicolons – it all has to be perfect.
Michelle: Got it, of course. And whoever is writing it – please stop making the dots on your J’s and I’s hearts. It’s unprofessional. Period.
Lindsay: Agreed.
Michelle: Also, I am ninety-nine point nine nine percent sure the slides have to be sent ahead of time.
Lindsay: Oh good point!


Punctuation is important, especially when writing business emails, contracts or slides for a presentation.

When it comes to periods, dots, and points, it’s easy to mix them up.

With today’s tips, you’ll be able to refer to these with confidence.

Try them out in your workplace today!

What other punctuation do you find confusing?

Share it in the comments below.

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