I’ve been spending quite a bit of time this vacation relaxing, perusing the net, catching up on my favorite blogs and news sites. I love to do this except when I see silly punctuation errors and then the English teacher side of me starts to twitch. One of the most common errors I see is quotation marks used incorrectly which is odd to me because its a relatively easy rule, but it appears to be a rule that many people miss.
Here it is: ALWAYS put periods and commas INSIDE the final quotation mark.
That’s it, easy-peasy. Check out the following examples to “see” what this rule looks like in action.
Examples with commas – they go inside the quotation marks . . . ALWAYS:
- “Stop writing and go to bed,” my mom yelled.
- My favorite short story is “Harrison Bergeron,” by Kurt Vonnegut.
Examples with periods – they also go inside the quotation marks . . . EVERY TIME:
- Kurt Vonnegut wrote “Harrison Bergeron.”
- You could find how to use quotation marks if you google “how to use quotation marks.”
Even if you only have single words in quotations, you still put the punctuation inside them.
Examples with single words:
- I tried to write a story with a “different” protagonist, but I decided that “believable” worked much better.
- When my friend didn’t understand my protagonist, I decided that maybe the character was a little too “different.”
Now that you know this rule, go through your own Work in Progress. Make sure that you have all commas and periods inside the end quotation mark.