Combining Quotation Marks with Other Punctuation


30 March 2014

Last Sunday we introduced differences in the ways that American English and British English handle quotation marks. The differences in handling that punctuation are even more pronounced when another punctuation mark is needed at the end of the quotation.

  • In BrE, a punctuation mark would never go inside a quotation unless it were originally part of that quotation.
  • In AmE, a period or a comma always goes inside the close-quote mark. A semicolon and colon always go outside the quotation mark. A question mark or exclamation point goes either inside or outside, depending upon whether the quotation itself uses that punctuation.