• Both. Sort of. It really depends on where you're from. Traditionally, English had it outside of the quotation marks. However, American English allows for it to be put inside. Either way is usually right, but you should at least be consistent. Also check with your publisher/teacher/editor/etc to see if they prefer one method over the other.
  • "A Full Stop ends a sentence under all circumstances period".
  • According to, and a grammar professor I spoke to, it is normally the same in both American and British english. If the quotation marks are to finish the sentence, the punctuation is to be inside the quotation marks... "The cow jumped over the moon." If the quotation marks are inside the sentence, the punctuation is to be outside the marks... George claimed,"I have twenty points"; Bill said he only had twelve. I know the question didn't ask about British vs. American, but there is a complete write up of British vs. American grammar at... You can also go directly to the page for using quotation with other punctuation This website is a great tool when trying to use proper grammar.
  • The Standard English rule, still observed by careful writers and editors, is that in American English commas and periods go inside the closing quotation mark; question marks, exclamation marks, and other marks stay outside. In British English everything goes inside or outside strictly according to the logic of the quoted matter and the enclosing sentence. The British rule is appealing (nothing special to remember) but that's life. Although that's the American rule, the rule is taking a pummeling from, among other things, the coming of URLs and printed computer instructions -- writers are reluctant to risk having a period or comma mistaken for part of what you're supposed to type in a particular case. There are also cases where the demand for strict accuracy may trump standard usage, such as quotations in legal matter or academic citations, both of which have their own, non-simple rules. Strunk and White (The Elements of Style), brief, compact, and entertaining, is the resource of choice for questions like this.
  • This is what I teach, and what I believe to be true: American grammar insists that periods and commas go inside final quotation marks, even if we're only quoting the last word in a sentence. Yes it looks odd, but it's our rule (and we're sticking to it!). Colons and semicolons always go after/outside/behind the final quotation mark. Question marks and exclamation points can go inside or outside, depending on whether the quoted material was said with special emphasis or not. If it was, the marks go inside; if it wasn't, they go outside. We also put single quotation marks inside doubles. The Grammar Goddess
  • The system of punctuation with quotation marks as detailt by Randolph Quirk in A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language follows: In American English (AmE) periods and commas *ALWAYS* go inside of quotation marks. ALWAYS. Colons and semicolons *ALWAYS* go outside. ALWAYS. Question marks and exclamation points go inside or outside depending on their relation to the quoted material (this has been discussed here before). Only question marks and exclamation points have this optional placement--called logical placement. In British English (BrE), commas, period, question marks, and exclamation all follow logiacal placement. Colons and semicolns go outside. Like dogs. For placement in other English speaking countries, consult another of Quirk's books \"The Global State of English\" (or something to that effect). His books are the reference source for people who write grammar handbooks. jz
  • Well, hogwash!!! I know what they are trying to say in all the cases. So does it really matter? What is the printed word for? To convey what the speaker or writer wants us to know. I know when he says "ain't" that he means "am not" even though it is not considered correct! So let's spend our time talking.... not processing the words under a microscope. Gee.... get a life!!!
  • From the AP stylebook. Skip to the bottom if you want to jump right to the bottom line re periods. quotation marks (" ") The basic guidelines for open-quote marks (") and close-quote marks ("): FOR DIRECT QUOTATIONS: To surround the exact words of a speaker or writer when reported in a story: "I have no intention of staying," he replied. "I do not object," he said, "to the tenor of the report." Franklin said, "A penny saved is a penny earned." A speculator said the practice is "too conservative for inflationary times." RUNNING QUOTATIONS: If a full paragraph of quoted material is followed by a paragraph that continues the quotation, do not put close-quote marks at the end of the first paragraph. Do, however, put open-quote marks at the start of the second paragraph. Continue in this fashion for any succeeding paragraphs, using close-quote marks only at the end of the quoted material. If a paragraph does not start with quotation marks but ends with a quotation that is continued in the next paragraph, do not use close-quote marks at the end of the introductory paragraph if the quoted material constitutes a full sentence. Use close-quote marks, however, if the quoted material does not constitute a full sentence. For example: He said, "I am shocked and horrified by the incident. "I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty." But: He said he was "shocked and horrified by the incident." "I am so horrified, in fact, that I will ask for the death penalty," he said. DIALOGUE OR CONVERSATION: Each person's words, no matter how brief, are placed in a separate paragraph, with quotation marks at the beginning and the end of each person's speech: "Will you go?" "Yes." "When?" "Thursday." NOT IN Q-and-A: Quotation marks are not required in formats that identify questions and answers by Q: and A:. See the question mark entry for example. NOT IN TEXTS: Quotation marks are not required in full texts, condensed texts or textual excerpts. See ellipsis. COMPOSITION TITLES: See the composition titles entry for guidelines on the use of quotation marks in book titles, movie titles, etc. NICKNAMES: See the nicknames entry. IRONY: Put quotation marks around a word or words used in an ironical sense: The "debate" turned into a free-for-all. UNFAMILIAR TERMS: A word or words being introduced to readers may be placed in quotation marks on first reference: Broadcast frequencies are measured in "kilohertz." Do not put subsequent references to kilohertz in quotation marks. See the foreign words entry. AVOID UNNECESSARY FRAGMENTS: Do not use quotation marks to report a few ordinary words that a speaker or writer has used: Wrong: The senator said he would "go home to Michigan" if he lost the election. Right: The senator said he would go home to Michigan if he lost the election. PARTIAL QUOTES: When a partial quote is used, do not put quotation marks around words that the speaker could not have used. Suppose the individual said, "I am horrified at your slovenly manners." Wrong: She said she "was horrified at their slovenly manners." Right: She said she was horrified at their "slovenly manners." Better when practical: Use the full quote. QUOTES WITHIN QUOTES: Alternate between double quotation marks ("or") and single marks ('or'): She said, "I quote from his letter, 'I agree with Kipling that "the female of the species is more deadly than the male," but the phenomenon is not an unchangeable law of nature,' a remark he did not explain." Use three marks together if two quoted elements end at the same time: She said, "He told me, 'I love you.'" (NOTE: Local style should ensure some differentiation between the single and double quotation marks, either with a "thin" space or by different typography, if not computer-programmed.) PLACEMENT WITH OTHER PUNCTUATION: Follow these long-established printers' rules: –The period and the comma always go within the quotation marks. –The dash, the semicolon, the question mark and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted matter only. They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence.
  • on the inside
  • I'm 100% with Bob Blaylock on this (quoting him): "If it's part of what is being quoted, it goes inside of the quotes; if it's not part of what is being quoted, it does not go inside the quotes". I follow this only LOGICAL rule all the time. Why should periods and commas be special and go inside the quotes? Who was the "genius" that came up with this rule? A sentence should always end with a period (or a question mark or exclamation), and not with a closed quote. If that sentence happens to have some quoted material at the end of it - the quoted material should be enclosed in quotes, but the sentence should still end with a PERIOD.
  • Plain and simple: "A period inside the quote looks like this." Jeff said, "A period outside the quote looks like this". Does anyone agree?
  • I also highly recommend the site of many good quotes. Good luck!
  • 99/100 times, inside, in American English. The only exception I can imagine is the use of quotation marks to set off a "word used as a word." Even then, my visceral instinct would place it inside. Beyond that I'm not going to contribute, since so many others have already done so. However, I will suggest that, in addition to Strunk & White, "The Holt Handbook," Marcella Frank's "Modern English," and "The MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers" are excellent sources. As a retired professor of English (46 years) and a current editor, I recommend them strongly. I find "The Little Brown Handbook," "The Chicago Manual of Style, and Kate Turabian's "A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations" to be less useful, sometimes confusing.
  • I would put it inside because it would just look weird sitting outside like that.
  • It's truly incredible how much argument there is about this. There are two answers, so why numerous parties have chosen to voice their answers -- all of which have been previously mentioned since, as I mentioned, there are ONLY TWO POSSIBLE ANSWERS -- is beyond me. A true testament for why one should never solely rely on the mighty Internet.

Copyright 2023, Wired Ivy, LLC

Answerbag | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy