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Punctuation inside or outside of quote marks?


In BrE, should the ending punctuation be ’.” (as in the first example) or .’ ” (as in the second example)?

Mike said, “Melanie was ‘a purveyor of malicious quips’.”

Mike said, “Melanie was ‘a purveyor of malicious quips.’ ”

Thank you.


  • Hello @mgoronsky582

    Some grammar conventions explain, for example, that quotation marks (also known as inverted commas in British English) should mark both the beginning and end of the direct speech:

    ‘That,’ he said, ‘is nonsense.’

    In British English these single quotation marks are used most frequently, though double marks – as in “What time will he arrive?” – may also be used, and are the preferred style in American English.

    As seen in the examples above, the conventions also state that associated punctuation should be included at the end of a piece of speech, and should be placed inside the closing quotation marks:

    ‘Can I come in?’ he asked.

    “He’s very clever, you know.”

    People writing reports or stories are usually well-served by these grammar conventions when quoting direct speech: quotation marks can show readers exactly where the person’s speech begins and ends, and a period, question mark, or exclamation point following the quotation can give readers more information about the speaker’s tone.

    You can read more here:

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