Correct Use of Inverted Commas
Thread poster: Jaspal Singh

Jaspal Singh
India
Local time: 13:30
English to Panjabi
+ ...
Jul 1, 2014

Friends,

Which one you think is correct out of follwing:

1. He said "Look at the tree."
2. He said "Look at the tree".

According to me 2nd sentence is correct.

Thanks in advance...

[Edited at 2014-07-01 11:01 GMT]


 

Jan Willem van Dormolen  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:00
English to Dutch
+ ...
Depends on locale Jul 1, 2014

This depends on the country you intend the text for. The second sentence is indeed more logical, and that is the way many countries do it. However, there are also countries where the first is used. I seem to recall that US and UK are different in this respect too.
The reason being that in the days of physical typesetting, the period would often break off, so typesetters would protect it by moving it a little bit to the front.


 

Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 17:00
Japanese to English
+ ...
... Jul 1, 2014

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_mark#Punctuation

 

Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 05:00
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Correct Use of Inverted Commas Jul 1, 2014

In the past I was always double checking that.

Case 1 – Inverted commas come before the period when the phrase is continuing or explaining the one you are writing. e.g:


Já antecipava McLuhan na década de 60 que “a mudança se tornou a única constante de nossa vida”.

Já antecipava McLuhan na década de 60: “A mudança se tornou a única constante de nossa vida”.

Enquanto não houver “uma nova, forte e legítima razão de interesse comum”, finaliza o relator, os condôminos continuarão a utilizar tais áreas, em conformidade com o “princípio ético de respeito às relações definidas por décadas de convívio”.


Note: When extra info is added in brackets, the period goes right at the end of whole segment, after brackets:


“Eles compõem o cérebro da rede e localizam-se em todos os seus entroncamentos” (Pessini, 1986, p. 14).


Case 2 – Inverted commas come after a period when the quoting is written in a whole and isolated: In other words: Inverted commas are always after periods when quoting.


“Saber é poder.”

“Informação não é o mesmo que conhecimento.”

I hope I have helped.

icon_smile.gifhttp://www.linguabrasil.com.br/nao-tropece-detail.php?id=778


 

Amel Abdullah  Identity Verified
Jordan
Arabic to English
+ ...
In the United States... Jul 1, 2014

In the United States, you would write:

He said, "Look at the tree."

Note the comma as well, which is missing from both of your examples.


 

Grace Shalhoub  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 10:00
Member (2014)
French to English
+ ...
Priod before inverted comma Jul 1, 2014

This is what I teach my translation students (guidelines of French universities in general) >> He said, "Look at the tree."

The period will also preceed the closing bracket >> He ate an apple (and it was delicious.)

This being said, I have been observing punctuation in many magazines and newspapers and I cannot say that I have found a unique convention per country. The Economist and the Guardian, for example, but also many US/Canadian newspapers, tend to use these rules... but others don't.



European Union style guide http://ec.europa.eu/translation/english/guidelines/documents/styleguide_english_dgt_en.pdf p.26

Placing of quotation marks. Quotation marks at the end of a sentence normally precede the concluding full stop, question mark or exclamation mark:
The American Government favours ‘a two-way street in arms procurement’.
Has the Commission published ‘A European Strategy for Encouraging Local Development and Employment Initiatives’?

However, if the quotation itself contains a concluding mark, no full stop is required after the quotation mark.
Walther Rathenau once said ‘We stand or fall on our economic performance.’
This section is entitled ‘A new culture of entrepreneurship in the EU: What to do?’


I hope this helps.



[Modifié le 2014-07-01 13:52 GMT]

[Modifié le 2014-07-01 13:53 GMT]


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 10:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
It depends where you are Jul 1, 2014

js91872 wrote:
1. He said "Look at the tree."
2. He said "Look at the tree".


In this particular case, #1 will do it for me. I translate for South African English (and Afrikaans), so that would affect the way I write it. Here are some more examples of how I would do it:

Paul said "We did it."
Paul said "We did it," but Peter said "No, we didn't."
Paul said "We did it!" but Peter said "No, we didn't."
Paul said "We did it?" but Peter said "No, we didn't."
Paul said "We did it..." and Peter said "No, we didn't."

Paul said he "came home late".
Paul said he "came home late", but Peter said he "came home early".
Paul said he "came home late" and Peter agreed.

...and just to throw a spanner in the works:
Paul said he "came home late", but Peter said "We came home early."

The following are also all correct:

He said: "It is hot."
He said, "It is hot."
He said "It is hot."
He did not say "it is warm" but "it is hot".
He said it is "hot". (itching to add the "that")

Samuel


 

Jaspal Singh
India
Local time: 13:30
English to Panjabi
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to All of You Jul 2, 2014

Thanks to all of you for the replies.

What I have learned is that this depends on the locale, there is flexibility from country to country, region to region.

Thanks again.


 

Michael Wetzel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:00
German to English
MHRA style (Section 9.3) Jul 2, 2014

Edit: Sorry to duplicate your summary, your previous text hadn't appeared yet when I wrote the following.


He said 'Look at the tree'.

AND:
He said that we should 'look at the tree'.

BUT:
He said: 'Look at the tree.' (complete sentence set off by punctuation)

Different UK style guides may handle details differently, but the principle remains the same: The period precedes the inverted comma only if the quoted material is a complete sentence.

In the US, more or less all style guides always place commas and periods before closing quotation marks.

As others have said, the question is unanswerable unless you specify a geographical variant (US, UK, South African English etc.) and, in many cases, a style guide as well.

[Edited at 2014-07-02 08:05 GMT]


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:00
Member (2008)
Italian to English
COrrect Jul 2, 2014

js91872 wrote:


According to me 2nd sentence is correct.


I agree. But I've had said THE 2nd sentence (although I know my many Indian friends often leave out *** definite article) !

icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2014-07-02 12:23 GMT]


 

Neil Coffey  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:00
French to English
+ ...
It's OK to simplify the universe from time to time... Jul 2, 2014

Grace Shalhoub wrote:
The period will also preceed the closing bracket >> He ate an apple (and it was delicious.)


I'm genuinely curious: as you sit looking at your example, are you not thinking, "That's a really illogical place to put the bracket"...?


 

Georgia Morgan  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 09:00
Member (2011)
Portuguese to English
Precede Jul 3, 2014

Neil Coffey wrote:

Grace Shalhoub wrote:
The period will also preceed the closing bracket >> He ate an apple (and it was delicious.)


I'm genuinely curious: as you sit looking at your example, are you not thinking, "That's a really illogical place to put the bracket"...?


Well, as I sit looking at the example, I am thinking "That's a really bad spelling of "precede"!!


 


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Correct Use of Inverted Commas

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