KudoZ home » English » Linguistics

Comma, period, quotation mark

English translation: Inside: you are right

Advertisement

Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.

You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
05:00 Jul 2, 2002
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics / Grammar
English term or phrase: Comma, period, quotation mark
I learned 49 years ago that comma and period as a rule come before the quotation mark in American English. Now, WORD editing software does not agree.
I know there has been a high-level controversy about this, but can someone explain to me which usage is generally acceptable?
Shinya Ono
United States
Local time: 04:36
English translation:Inside: you are right
Explanation:
All punctuation marks go INSIDE the quotation marks in American English. So you are remembering correctly. EX: "Are you coming?" she asked. etc.

You might want to check and make sure that Word is set for American English and not for a different (e.g. British) flavor. My version of Word doesn't bat an eyelash at my punctuation/quotation usage.

Good luck!
Selected response from:

athena22
United States
Local time: 12:36
Grading comment
Athena's answer is consistent with my understanding of the conventional American usage. Chris's points appear to be closer to British style, which I am glad to learn about. Thank you both for giving me your time and attention. (Honorifics omitted)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Advertisement


Summary of answers provided
4 +5It dependsChris Rowson
5 +4Inside: you are right
athena22


  

Answers


12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +4
Inside: you are right


Explanation:
All punctuation marks go INSIDE the quotation marks in American English. So you are remembering correctly. EX: "Are you coming?" she asked. etc.

You might want to check and make sure that Word is set for American English and not for a different (e.g. British) flavor. My version of Word doesn't bat an eyelash at my punctuation/quotation usage.

Good luck!

athena22
United States
Local time: 12:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Athena's answer is consistent with my understanding of the conventional American usage. Chris's points appear to be closer to British style, which I am glad to learn about. Thank you both for giving me your time and attention. (Honorifics omitted)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  rvillaronga: on the money!
1 min
  -> Thanks!

agree  xxxtazdog
2 mins
  -> Thanks!

agree  Piotr Kurek
20 mins
  -> Thanks!

agree  Enza Longo
1 hr
  -> Thanks!
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
It depends


Explanation:
It depends whether the punctuation belongs to the quote or to the whole sentence. For example, you asked about "comma and period". Here I must put the period outside the quote, because it belongs to the sentence as a whole, and not to what I am quoting. But you asked "can someone explain to me which usage is generally acceptable?" Here the question mark is inside the quotes because it is a part of the quote. And there is no period after it, because the question mark provides this function.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-07-02 06:49:37 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I doubt whether the Word software is able to implement this fully, you have to understand more of the sense than I think is possible for it. I don´t use Word puntuation checking. But this is correct English as I learnt it.

Chris Rowson
Local time: 21:36
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Endre Both
26 mins

agree  jerrie
52 mins

agree  Sarah Ponting
1 hr

agree  John Kinory: In BE, full stops and commas go outside, unless specifically part of the quote. QMs - again, depends. But I am told that in your first example, AE puts the full stop inside, even though it's completely illogical.
3 hrs

agree  cheungmo: Not only is it correct, its logical too!
4 hrs

agree  Anna Aljabiry: That's how I learned it too. Periods and commas cannot be INSIDE all the time. It depends on the context.
8 hrs

disagree  Vincentine: In AE, commas and periods go inside quotation marks regardless of logic. The exceptions to this rule are exact quotes (computer code) and single-quoted philosophical concepts in philosophical discourse. Other punctuation marks follow BE rules.
1455 days
  -> Welcome to ProZ
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




Return to KudoZ list


KudoZ™ translation help
The KudoZ network provides a framework for translators and others to assist each other with translations or explanations of terms and short phrases.



See also:



Term search
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search