Grammar Tips & Articles »

Rules on Direct Quotation

This article is about Rules on Direct Quotation — enjoy your reading!

39 sec read
  Ed Good  —  Grammar Tips
Font size:

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

Rate this article:

Have a discussion about this article with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:


    "Rules on Direct Quotation." STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <>.

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Check your text and writing for style, spelling and grammar problems everywhere on the web!


    Free Writing Tool:

    Grammar Checker

    Improve your grammar, vocabulary, and writing -- and it's FREE!


    Are you a grammar master?

    Identify the sentence with correct use of the past perfect continuous tense:
    A She had finished her homework yesterday.
    B He had been working on the project for several months before it was completed.
    C I will have been waiting for you for an hour.
    D We have seen the movie when it was released.

    Improve your writing now:

    Download Grammar eBooks

    It’s now more important than ever to develop a powerful writing style. After all, most communication takes place in reports, emails, and instant messages.