This is correct - dot before comma:

Voy con vds., luego ya iré con ellos.

This is correct - dot before and after right/closer parens (works with several other characters in spite of the parens):

Iré con ellos (pues ya habrá ido con vds.).

This is correct too - dot before semicolon:

Iré con él, ella, ellos y vds.; pero después.

Even this is correct - dot before colon:

Estos son con quienes irán vds.: él, ella y ellos.

However, can't use two consecutive dots.

Iremos todos juntos a los EE.UU..

Iremos todos juntos a los EE.UU.

This looks like a weird arbitrary exception, because I see no contention with using two dots.

It's alright - it's a language of exceptions. We all know, that's not the topic.

But where does this one come from? The thought process leading to the rule being that.


2 Answers 2


Given that the Spanish Ortografía written by the Spanish Royal Academy provided no reason for that rule, I asked them directly. This is what they said:

Cuando se acaba un enunciado con una abreviatura, el punto de esta cumple una doble función: forma parte de la abreviatura y a la vez indica el final del enunciado, lo cual no ocurre siempre cuando se escriben los puntos suspensivos, ya que estos no siempre marcan el final de un enunciado y, además, pueden ir seguidos de otros signos delimitadores, como la coma o el punto y coma. Podría decirse, entonces, que no se emplean dos puntos seguidos (el de la abreviatura y el de final de enunciado) por considerarse redundante.

What I asked is the reason why when the abbreviation dot is followed by an ellipsis (...), the abbreviation dot is NOT supressed, but when it is followed by the end-of-sentence dot, it is. Translated from Spanish, it says that the ellipsis may be followed by even another punctuation mark (colon, semicolon...), and may not even be the end of the sentence, and that's why in that case we must write every mark in the sentence:

Hay abreviaturas que representan plurales: AA.VV., FF.CC...., pero hay otras que no.

Notice the ...., part with the abbreviation dot, the ellipsis and a colon. But when the abbreviation dot is at the end of the sentence, it cannot be followed by another punctuation mark and hence what would be two dots are simplified in just one.


When you have an abbreviation dot next to a sentence-ending dot, a simplification occurs, and one dot signals both functions. The reason, I imagine, is that there is no need for two dots -- the reader is able to figure out that the single dot performs both functions.

Wikipedia (the bolding is mine):

El punto de abreviatura actúa como punto final de una oración (seguido, aparte o final) en caso que ambos coincidan, de forma que solo se debe escribir un punto y no dos. Los otros signos de puntuación (coma, puntos suspensivos, signo de interrogación, etc.) sí deben escribirse tras el punto de la abreviatura; por lo tanto, si tras una abreviatura hay puntos suspensivos, se escriben cuatro puntos.

Per @Gustavson, this page shows what happens when combining ellipsis with other punctuation marks (see 3. Combinación con otros signos).


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