Specific BrE Punctuation Questions


Are the comma and full stop placements correct in each of these per BrE punctuation? Thank you.

(1) Mike said, 'I overheard Joe say, "I will be filing for a divorce tomorrow."'
[I believe that the proper ending punctuation in BrE is ."' (NOT: ".') as exampled above.]

(2) Mike said, "I will be filing for a divorce tomorrow."
[The full stop goes inside the quote marks because it belongs to the quote, not to the sentence as a whole. NOT: Mike said, "I will be filing for a divorce tomorrow".]

(3) The sign said 'Swim At Your Own Risk."
[Full stop goes inside because a full stop appeared on the sign (after the word "Risk".]

(4) The sign said 'Swim At Your Own Risk".
[Full stop goes outside the ending quote marks because there wasn't a full stop on the sign.]

(5) "I will attend the ceremonies," Joel said, "but I won't if Harold is going."
[The comma goes inside the introductory quote (ie "I will attend the ceremonies,") because the sentence requires it in terms of punctuation. The original sentence is 'I will attend the ceremonies, but I won't if Harold is going.']

(6) When Ben said, “I don't do well with ultimatums", he incurred the wrath of Officer Smith.
[Comma outside because not part of the quote.]

(7) “I know of lots of people in my industry and others who have gone to private equity simply to avoid the vitriol that is poured upon successful businesses", he said.
[Comma outside.]

(8) When Jamie screamed "Oh my God!" she startled everybody.
[No commas, methinks.]

(9) When Jamie asked "Where's the liquid refreshments?" her husband pointed to the refrigerator.
[No commas?]

(10) The questions "Who?", "What?", "When?", "Why?", and "How?" remain unanswered.
[I think commas are required as shown.]

(11) I'm tired of her "Where were you?", "How long were you out?", and "Did you flirt with any girls?" questions.
[I think commas are required as shown.]

(12) "I am sick and tired of her excuses", Zach said.
[Comma outside because not part of the original quote. Somebody told me that the comma goes inside because it converts to a full stop to end the quoted sentence. I'm confused on this one.]

(13) I don't like his sentence "I am what I am."
(Full stop inside? And do I need a second one outside the quotes - ie "... what I am.".)

(14) Did she ask "How much longer?"?
(Are two question marks needed – or just the question mark inside the quotes?)

(15) The songs "Help!", "Do You Want to Know a Secret?", and "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" are among my favorites. (Commas outside.)

(16) “I'm going”, he said, “to have tea.”

(17) "My foot hurts", said she.

(18) "My foot", said Susan, "hurts quite a lot."

Thank you.

asked Mar 07 '14 at 12:32 Mike Goronsky New member

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