proper position of a semicolon when listing direct quotes

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I am wondering what the correct positioning of the semicolon should be in this statement that lists three separate quotes. Should it come before the quotation marks or after? And where should a space be placed, if any?

See example:

The mission is: "We improve the health and well-being of the people in our communities by providing excellent care and comprehensive services;" the vision is: "To provide excellent health care services to every patient, every time;" and the values are: "Excellence, integrity, respect, and independence" (MMHS, 2013c).
asked Mar 31 '13 at 18:40 Laure VanderVlucht New member

2 answers


1

The rule of thumb is:

 

. | ,  inside the quotation marks
: | ;  outside the quotation marks

 

A single space is used after the semicolon and no space before it.

 

[...] provide excellent health care services to every patient, every time"; and the values are [...]

link comment edited Mar 31 '13 at 22:00 David Simons New member
1

David provides an excellent answer from an American English perspective. British English uses a different rule for the placement of commas with respect to quotation marks -- typically, commas are outside the quotation marks in British English unless the comma is an actual part of the quote.

 

In either flavor of English, you sentence has a different problem. You do not need colons before the quotations. Colons are used to introduce lists and block quotations. A block quotation is a lengthy quotation, usually consisting of several complete sentences, and formatted as an indented paragraph.

 

I hope this helps.

link comment answered Apr 01 '13 at 01:53 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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