Posted on Sep 6, 2011 in Other stuff, School & education
Is it true that punctuation (period, comma, etc.) always needs to go inside any quotation marks?
This answer was chosen as best by the post author
In the US, punctuation typically goes inside the quotation marks. That’s the rule… but like any good rule, there are a few exceptions.
Example: “Should I put all punctuation inside quotation marks?”
When is it okay to put punctuation outside of the quotation marks? Only when all of the following are true:
1) When the punctuation is a question mark, exclamation point, colon or semicolon.
2) When the material being quoted is a clause unto itself, and the punctuation belongs to the sentence as a whole.
To demonstrate #2, let’s quote part of #1 above, inside a sentence that poses a question:
Example: How can it be true that quotation marks go outside a phrase only if “the punctuation is either a question mark or exclamation point”?
The question mark falls outside the quotation marks because the clause itself was not a question — it was only referenced within the question. Finally, understand that this manner of punctuation is not the rule in the UK — and, in fact, The Queen’s English has numerous style differences.
Vanderbilt College of Arts & Science – Writing Studio Purdue University Online Writing Lab North Carolina State University: Questions on Quotation Marks
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