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Rules on Direct Quotation

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Many writers violate rules governing the use of quotation marks. They mix up the rules on which of the other punctuation marks go inside or outside the ending quotation marks. You'll find independent treatment of this issue in each chapter on each mark where this situation can occur. For your convenience, here are the rules collected in one place.

According to most style manuals, all periods and commas go inside the ending quotation marks. The semicolon and colon go outside. Other marks, such as question marks or the occasional exclamation mark, go inside if they form a part of the quotation or outside if they do not form a part of the quotation. Click Next for some examples.


Previous: Chapter 12 - Quotation Marks Next: Period Goes Inside

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