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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #1

    Inverted commas and full stops.

    Folks,

    When inverted commas fall at the end of a sentence should the full stop be within them or after them? I know this sounds rather pedantic but I'd like to get it right. I am a police officer so by way of example :

    I informed the suspect that he was under arrest and he replied "You clown, I haven't done anything."

    ...or should it be anything".

    Thank you,

    Paul McElhinney.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
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    #2

    Re: Inverted commas and full stops.

    The period goes inside a closing quotation mark, as you have written:

    ...and he replied "You clown, I haven't done anything."


    • Join Date: Sep 2009
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    #3

    Re: Inverted commas and full stops.

    I do not understand the logic in your reply. Surely, the full stop represents the ultimate end of the sentence? Hence it's true title of Period! May i be as bold to suggest that it can therefore only be correctly situated after the inverted comma? (Unless of course one lives in America, where it could probably be put almost anywhere!)

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Inverted commas and full stops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundmind View Post
    (Unless of course one lives in America, where it could probably be put almost anywhere!)
    No. In the US, periods and commas always, ALWAYS go inside the quotation mark. I don't find this logical, but it's the "rule" and frankly, it's easier to comply with than trying to figure out what the situation is so you know whether to write ." or ".

    As a side note, it's so nice to see yet another person with this attitude.

    Even according to what I understand of UK rules, it makes sense to put that inside the quote - it's the full extent of his quoted remarks and those remarks form a full sentence.

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Inverted commas and full stops.

    I agree that is the rule. I think it's a visual aesthetic thing rather than attempting to be logical. However, I see the period outside the quote all the time these days.


    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #6

    Re: Inverted commas and full stops.

    Actually, in British English both forms are correct. I cite Fowler's Modern English Usage:
    Questions of order between inverted commas and stops are much debated ... There are two schools of thought, which might be called the conventional and the logical. The conventional prefers to put stops within the inverted commas, if it can be done without ambiguity, on the ground that it has a more pleasing appearance. The logical punctuates according to sense, and puts them outside ... Thus:
    Conventional: Oxford has been called a 'Home of lost causes.' Logical: ... 'Home of lost causes'.
    In US English one always uses the conventional form.

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    #7

    Re: Inverted commas and full stops.

    Actually, it seems most logical to end with ."., but that is criticized as being double punctuation.

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