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Quotation Marks with Periods and Commas
Quotation marks also set off the titles of things that do not normally stand by themselves: short stories, poems, and articles. Usually, a quotation is set off from the rest of the sentence by a comma; however, the typography of quoted material can become quite complicated. Here is one simple rule to remember:. In the United Kingdom, Canada, and islands under the influence of British education, punctuation around quotation marks is more apt to follow logic. The placement of marks other than periods and commas follows the logic that quotation marks should accompany be right next to the text being quoted or set apart as a title. Thus, you would write on either side of the Atlantic :. Further, punctuation around quoted speech or phrases depends on how it fits into the rest of your text.
The most common question people ask about quotation marks is whether periods and commas go inside or outside, and the answer depends.
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Quotation marks and adjacent punctuation
Where Do Periods Go in Quotations? with Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty
Though not necessarily logical, the American rules for multiple punctuation with quotation marks are firmly established. See here for a brief explanation of the British style. Unless they are part of the original quotation, all marks other than commas or periods are placed outside the quotation marks. For more on the proper use of multiple punctuation at the end of a sentence, see here. Longer quotations should be set off from the main text, and are referred to as block quotations. Because the quoted material is set off from the main text, it is not necessary to use quotation marks. Style varies, but at a minimum a block quotation should have a bigger left-hand margin than the main text.
Not only do you have to follow different rules depending on what other punctuation marks you mix with your quotation marks, but people in different countries also follow different rules, so you may see quotation marks handled differently in high-quality publications from different countries. Listen to the Grammar Girl podcast! Once you've mastered quotation marks, check out the most recent grammar episodes from Grammar Girl below. If the question mark or exclamation point is part of your quotation, it stays inside; but if the question mark or exclamation point are not part of the quotation, they go outside the closing quotation mark. Quotation Marks with Commas and Periods The most common question people ask about quotation marks is whether periods and commas go inside or outside, and the answer depends on where your audience lives because in American English we always put periods and commas inside quotation marks, but in British English periods and commas can go inside or outside kind of like the American rules for question marks and exclamation points. I use this memory trick: Inside the US, inside the quotation marks. The quotation marks protected the commas and periods.
In America, we use a hard-and-fast rule that was supposedly designed by compositors to protect the tiny commas and periods 1, 2. We always put periods and commas inside quotation marks. In Britain, they use rules that require the writer to determine whether the period or comma belong with the quotation or are part of the larger sentence. It appears that early champions of this logical system were H. Fowler and F. In it, the brothers describe the British logical system of punctuation. They note that they are in conflict with compositors, people who set type, but the Fowlers believe their system is better.