Grammar Tip: Use of Quote Marks

-By Warner Todd Huston

I learned something today that I was not aware of concerning the use of quote marks. This might help others that are equally ignorant on the grammatical rule.

Now, I knew that in America we put a period inside the quotes in a sentence relating what someone else said. Like so:

Then John said, “this is the sort of place I love.”

I was also aware that the Brits do it differently. Like this:

Then John said, “this is the sort of place I love“.

But I was not aware that when using quotes that don’t encapsulate a sentence and when the quote lands at the end of a sentence, we do not put the period inside the quote marks. For instance, the use of scare quotes, or quotes to denote a euphemism or used mockingly, is different than the use of quotes encapsulating a full sentence.

Like so:

Next he talked about “global warming”.

Here the period lands outside the quotes because the full stop for the sentence was not part of the quotation.

I did not know this. I will try to remember this from now on.Maybe it will help you, too?

A friendly note from Edouard alerted me to my mistake on this, so kudos to him.

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Tags: Grammar, Use of Quotes

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