Comma for quotation

This is a discussion thread · 2 replies
Tamakazura:
Do you need to put a comma before you start any quote with a quotation mark and immediately after the quote is over with? For example: Please type clearly, "VALUE FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES ONLY," and "HOUSEHOLD GOODS," to be exempt from duty.
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Anonymous:
[nq:1]Do you need to put a comma before you start any quote with a quotation mark and immediately after the quote is over with? For example: Please type clearly, "VALUE FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES ONLY," and "HOUSEHOLD GOODS," to be exempt from duty.[/nq]
In American English, any puctuation precedes the closing quotation mark. Sometimes the punctuation is not part of the quotation itself, but is required because of the sentence structure containing the quotation. Even in that case, it goes before the second quotation mark. While I don't fully understand your example, it has two minor mistakes in that neither of your commas are necessary. If they had been needed by your own sentence structure, they would have been placed correctly. If they were part of the quote source, you wouldn't include them in your quote unless you included at least one word past the comma.

Ex.: They denied my application for three reasons: "lacks signature," "incomplete" and "insufficient experience." (The comma and period are needed because of my own sentence structure. For that matter, so is the colon.)

By the way, sometimes there is a quotation inside of a quotation. In that case, you would use single quotation marks for what was originally quoted in the source:

"For example: Please type clearly, 'VALUE FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES ONLY,' and 'HOUSEHOLD GOODS,' to be exempt from duty" in his message to the group.

Notice that I didn't delete the commas within the single quotation marks because it is what you quoted, not what I am directly quoting. I did not include your period at the end because my sentence continues beyond the quote; if the last part of the quotation is at the end of your sentence, I will omit your punctuation from within the quotation but end my own sentence with whatever your sentence ended with (period, question mark, exclamation point). However, if I ended my own sentence with the end of your sentence, then your punctuation would precede the close quote.

It gets pretty tricky, and I'm not sure of at least one thing: I think you might not need the comma after "Please type clearly." While it is correctly placed, I think you would only need it if your own sentence structure called for it, but not solely because a quotation follows.

Here are some other examples:

"Do you need to put a comma before you start any quote with a quotation mark and immediately after the quote is over with" Tamakazura asked?

In his message to the group, Tamakazura asked "Do you need to put a comma before you start any quote with a quotation mark and immediately after the quote is over with?"

"For example: Please type clearly, 'VALUE FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES ONLY,' and 'HOUSEHOLD GOODS,' to be exempt from duty."

Tamakazura insisted that he was quoting Pete word for word: "I'm telling you that Pete said 'Phil must be nuts going on and on like that about those damn quotation marks!'" (Notice the ending sequence - exclamation point, single quote, double quote.)

It gets confusung. I hope it's understandable.

PS: I think that British English treats punctuation of quotations differently.

Regards, Phil
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Tamakazura:
[nq:1]Ex.: They denied my application for three reasons: "lacks signature," "incomplete" and "insufficient experience." (The comma and period are[/nq]^^^ This must be business writing.
[nq:1]Notice that I didn't delete the commas within the single quotation marks because it is what you quoted, not what ... if I ended my own sentence with the end of your sentence, then your punctuation would precede the close quote.[/nq]
Would you write mine in your version for me?
[nq:1]It gets pretty tricky,[/nq]

Indeed, commas are used most frequently and incorrectly. Let me review some basics.

-Naturalist Arthur Cleveland Bent remarked, "In part the peregrine declined unnoticed because it is not adorable."

philosopher Friedrich Nietzshe.

No comma in these examples.

-The words "accept" and "except" are frequently confused.

-Contrary to tradition, bedtime at my house is marked by "Mommy, can I tell you a story now?" (no comma right after 'by')

-Have you heard the old proverb "Do you clime the hill until you reach it"?

-"What is it?" I asked, bracing myself. (no comma because there is a question mark)

These are very common style of writing in English.

-"This is a stick-up," said the well-dressed young couple. "We want all your money."

-Stephan Leacock once said, "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."
This thread originates from within 'usenet', and as such the content and users are not guaranteed to have been moderated by our community.
Live chat
Registered users can join here