1. Infinitytruth
    Offline

    Infinitytruth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    In a house!

    Comma after quotations? Also period in quotations questions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Infinitytruth, Apr 17, 2011.

    Something that has been bugging me lately. Are you supposed to put a comma after quotations? Like lets say I say "The brown dog" shouldn't there be a comma, period or something to end that? Or like at least after a quote without a period to end it?

    Like "The brown dog," actually that looks kind of funny too. Just checking to see for proper english.

    Also the second part of my question. Lets say I say - The dog is brown his name is "Gustav." That really bugs me like you put quotations, and they're small quotes but then you put a period there to end it. It doesn't look right because the sentence is so big, and then you put a period inside a small quotes and it looks funny. I know british english puts the commas and periods outside the quotations, but with american english it's on the inside.

    Are you allowed to put them outside if the quotes aren't big?
     
  2. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
  3. Omega14
    Offline

    Omega14 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Great Dunmow, Essex, UK
    It depends what you mean when you talk about quotes: are you asking about dialogue, or about quoting what someone else has said?

    For dialogue, British English puts the punctuation inside the quotation marks, so if it's dialogue, I would write:

    "The brown dog," I said.

    Or:

    I said, "The brown dog."

    Or:

    "The brown dog?" I asked.

    In your second example, I wouldn't use quotes at all:

    His name is Gustav.

    I would probably only put a name in quotes if I was writing something like:

    My dog's name is Emperor Augustus, but everyone refers to him as "Gustav".

    If it's not dialogue, then it may not require punctuation at all:

    I read a short story called "The Brown Dog" yesterday.

    Or maybe you are quoting someone else, in which case the punctuation may well go outside the quotation marks:

    I asked Bill who had eaten my dinner and he told me it was "the brown dog".

    It could also go inside, depending on the actual words quoted; there are loads of rules to quotation, so it depends on what you are using it for.

    Equally valid could be:

    I asked Bill who had eaten my dinner and he told me it was "the brown dog" that had done so.

    And like I said, these are British rules. I'm not really sure what the American rules are, so quite possibly this is no help to you at all! :) But worth posting for any Brits passing through.

    Rachel
     
  4. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    american usage requires end marks to be inside the " " regardless...
     
  5. digitig
    Offline

    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,502
    Likes Received:
    79
    Location:
    Orpington, Bromley, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
    Not always.
    Sure, you're allowed. You'll just have to sell to the UK market, not the US market. (Or maybe the Canadian market will take it -- I'm never sure when they're going to follow UK convention and when the US.)
     
  6. teacherayala
    Offline

    teacherayala Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2011
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Panama
    Although British English has different rules, I tell my students that "commas and periods go on the inside" when referring to quotation marks. Semicolons and Colons are different animals.
     

Share This Page