Quotations Marks with Other Punctuation

Have you ever wondered where to place other punctuation marks in relation to quotation marks? If so, here are some guidelines to help you clear your doubts.

1. Commas and periods—both go inside the quotation marks.

  • I read the story "the four wives," and thought it was very entertaining. 
  • "This is the time," said the President, "to stand up and fight."

2. Semicolons, dashes and colons—all go outside the quotation marks.

  • You shouldn't use words such as  "stupid", "crazy" or "crackpot"—they make your essay look like a joke!

3. Question marks, exclamation marks and dashes can go inside or outside the quotation marks, depending on whether or not they are part of the quoation.

  • Did you say "Dinner"?
  • "Is this," asked the man, his voice trembling, "a human body?"