if you are ending a sentence with a qoute, what is the correct punctuation?

example: as he sat down he said "this is a soft chair."

See example:

Although Arthur is certain his time has come "Merlin swear that I should come Again."
asked Dec 12 '12 at 06:06 Wendy New member

2 answers


There are differences in British and American usage of punctuation and quotations. This doesn't seem to me that quotation marks are needed with this sentence, however. It's not a direct quote.

The sentence starts with a dependent clause, 'Although Arthur is certain his time has come', which should be followed by a comma. If Merlin is the person being quoted, only his statement should be in quotes. 'Swear' should be 'swears' and shouldn't be within the quotes. The word 'I' doesn't have an antecedent. If Merlin were doing the speaking, he would use 'you' to refer to Arthur, but it still wouldn't make sense. The following is how a sentence containing a quote should be punctuated.


Although Arthur is certain his time has come, Merlin swears, "You should come again."

link comment answered Dec 12 '12 at 11:18 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Missing punctuation or words always creates confusion about the meaning of a sentence.  You haven't told us who is speaking.  I imagined that the sentence would be correct in a different way than Lewis did.


Although Arthur is certain his time has come, he cries, "Merlin, swear that I should come again." 


We both punctuated the quote with a period before the quotation mark. This is how it is done in American English.  I understand that British English is the opposite on this rule.

link answered Dec 12 '12 at 14:08 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

A little punctuation makes a big difference. I didn't even think about Arthur's being the speaker in this one. I'm glad people can get more than one slant on their questions because it can point out how confusing things can get.

Lewis NeidhardtDec 12 '12 at 15:32

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