How to Use Question Marks With Quotation Marks

We’ve covered when to use quotation marks. But when you throw question marks and exclamation points into the mix, things can get a little tricky. Let’s demystify this quotation mark conundrum, shall we?

Buckle up. We may experience some turbulence.

Periods, Commas, and Quotation Marks

Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks, whether they be single quotes or double quotes.

“I told you that you shouldn’t try walking barefoot on broken glass,” Mickey said.

Carter responded, “I believe you actually said, ‘you shouldn’t try walking on shattered glass.’”

Question Marks and Exclamation Points

Question marks and exclamation points, however, are a little trickier. Rules of logic come into play.

If the question or exclamation is within the quotation marks, then the punctuation also goes within the quotes.

“My feet are killing me!” Mark wailed.

Carter asked, “Well, why didn’t you pay attention to Mick’s warning?”

On the other hand, if the question or exclamation is not part of the quote itself, the punctuation goes outside the quotes.

Have you ever shared Forrest Gump’s sentiment that “life is like a box of chocolates”?

A Caveat

Keep in mind, these are the rules for American English. The Brits have a different method of punctuating with quotation marks, so if you’re writing for an audience in the UK, these rules don’t necessarily apply to your work.

Do quotation marks ever trip you up? What sticky punctuation situations have you written yourself into? Let me know in the comments.

By Liz Bureman

Source: thewritepractice.com

Visit us at First Edition Design Publishing

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s