My thoughts on writing tips found online and in published works (with some random thoughts thrown into the mix).

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Punctuation and Quotations

One topic that I have come across that seems to trip up a good amount of authors is how to use punctuation with quotation marks. While quotation marks, whether they are single or double quotes, can cause many trip-ups on their own, we will stick to punctuation issues today.

If you are citing the person after the quote, then a comma should appear at the end, before the closing mark.
For example:
"Socks go in the red hamper," said Sarah.

If you are ending a sentence with a quote, then the period goes within the quotation marks.
For example:
Tom lectured Mark, "You should never have dated her in the first place."

With these two rules, commas and periods are always within the quotation marks. For the next two marks, however, the rules get a bit trickier.

If the item being quoted is an exclamation itself, then the mark goes within the quotes. If it is being used as part of an exclamatory sentence, however, it goes outside the quotes.
For example:
Jennifer celebrated her victory, shouting "I passed the class!"
Tiffany thought it was absolutely ridiculous to think that "the stars brought this upon us"!

Question marks behave a lot like exclamation points.
For example:
George questioned the teacher, "Does A really come before B?"
Matthew wondered, did Anne really "love him more than life itself"?

No comments:

Post a Comment