Commas and quotation marks


I understand how to use a comma with a direct quote:

  • He said, "That's nice." or
  • "That's nice," he said.

But I don't know what to do when using quotation marks in other ways, such as:

  • The definition of "comma," which I don't know, is...
  • This so-called "saint", who isn't one...

In such cases, should the comma go before or after the end-quotation mark?



commas quotation asked Jan 22 '13 at 16:48 Ross Edwards New member

1 answer


In American English, the style standard is to place commas and periods inside the end quotation mark.  In Britsh English, the comma or period is generally outside of the quotation mark unless the punctuation also appears in what is being quoted.


The FEATURED: WRITING TIPS & TRICKS item at the top of this forums main page has a lengthy article the provides citations from numerous American style manuals in support of this answer.


I hope this helps.

link answered Jan 22 '13 at 20:31 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

So it doesn't matter that the function of the copy inside the quotation marks is different... it gets treated the same as spoken words?

Ross EdwardsJan 22 '13 at 21:47

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