1. Margaretha
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    Margaretha New Member

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    Can you put a comma after a quote such as...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Margaretha, Jan 27, 2009.

    But if I asked you if you called out to your child when when they were leaving to spend the night with a friend, "Be kind!", most of you would say "No."

    CAN I PUT THAT COMMA AFTER THE EXCLAMATION MARK AND QUOTE?

    Thanks.

    Margaretha
     
  2. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    If this is all dialogue, I would do it like this.



    "But, if I asked if you called out to your child, 'Be kind!', when they were leaving to spend the night with a friend, most of you would say 'No'."



    Note that I made several changes to help with other punctuation and grammar.

    Edit: just realized I didn't answer your question. Yes, you put the punctuation after if it is a quote within a passage of dialogue.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, no. The punctuation after the closing quote is omitted. See He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue for a longer discussion of punctuating dialogue.
     
  4. Margaretha
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    Margaretha New Member

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    No, it's not dialogue. It's from a book I'm editing. I could rephrase it so that I could just ignore the problem, but I really would like to know. When you have double quotations whose interior punctuation is an exclamation or question mark, and if that quote MUST be followed by a comma because it is in a subordinate clause, can there be:

    When someone screams "Fire!", there had better be a fire.

    Actually, when I look at this short sentence, that formula looks OK.
     
  5. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Cogito. Do you mean the period after 'No'? I have myself confused now. :p
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The perion after the No at the end of the sample should be inside the single quote.
    Note that the comma after "Be kind!" has been removed. That was what I referred to in my previosu post.

    Don't pile on the punctuation - inner punctuation takes precedence. A period gets replaced by a comma IF the sentence continues after the closing quote.
     
  7. garmar69
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    garmar69 Contributing Member Contributor

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    I understand now. That scenario hasn't happened very often, well never, in my writing. Makes much more sense to me now.

    No more confrusededness. :p
     
  8. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    never mind...I addressed the wrong issue
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no... the ! ends the quote, so no comma ever goes after it... when you have a quote that has no ending punctuation, then the comma is necessary, but in the us it always goes inside the " "... in the uk it often goes outside... examples:

    wrong for many reasons...

    repeated 'when' makes no sense...
    comma needed after 'child'...
    plural 'they were' incorrect with singular 'child'...
    'be kind' in wrong place...
    no comma should go after !"...
    comma needed after 'say'...

    here's the correct version:

    hope that helps... love and hugs, maia
     
  10. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Cool, Maia corrected the weird sounding, "If I asked you if."

    But I still think the two ifs sound odd.

    Could something like this work? But suppose I asked if you called . . .
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no, it wouldn't work with the rest of the sentence... try it and you'll see why...
     
  12. Vayda
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    Vayda Senior Member

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    I'm not sure you guys are addressing OP's original question. The comma is needed (well, up for debate, but anyway) because the quote, "be kind!" is an appositive, not because it is dialogue.

    Of course, I don't know the answer, but with all the other problems in the sentence (the "if I asked you if" for one) I think the sentence should just be rephrased. In the shorter sentence about yelling fire, I think you've got it correctly punctuated.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, arch, i do agree the doubled 'if' is a bit awkward, but that can be easily solved by changing the second one to 'whether'...
     
  14. Atari
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    Atari Active Member

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    I disagree on needing the comma after 'child'. That just puts an unnecessary pause.
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    could depend on whether the writer wants the reader to pause or not...
     

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