“What is the problem with that,” you may ask. [punctuation?]

kclub

Member
Chinese
I'm attempting to write an answer, but I'd like to start the sentence with a question. For example, “What is the problem with that,” you may ask. The problem is that it is wrong to skip classes.
Are the sentences correct? I'm wondering whether I should use a question mark or a comma in the quotation marks. And should I use semi-column after "ask" instead of a period?
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    A direct quotation (the exact words the person said) includes the proper punctuation for that quoted sentence, even though that is not the end of your sentence as a whole.
    “What is the problem with that?” you may ask.

    Otherwise, your sentence is fine. :)
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I might say what I write below.

    "What is the problem with that?", you may ask.

    I would use both the question mark and the comma after the quotation mark, for what it's worth.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Hmm, that is logical, but I don't think it is standard to have a question mark together with the comma.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Curiosity does compel me to ask why not, natkretep?

    (You may also not have liked that sentence.)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Perp, my understanding is that end punctuation (full stop/period, question mark and exclamation mark) should not be combined with each other or with commas, colons or semi-colons.

    So, we don't do the following 'logical' things:
    Did he ask, 'Where are you going?'?
    Did he say, 'Go away!'?
    etc.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I would make an exception to the rule in this case.

    OP: "What is the problem with that", you may ask. :thumbsdown:

    Cagey, #2: “What is the problem with that?” you may ask. :)

    Perpend: “What is the problem with that?”, you may ask. = My opinion.
    I can't see anything wrong with double end-punctuation, in this case. Who makes this hard-and-fast rule? :confused:

    Little context have we.
     

    DW

    Banned
    Polish
    Three punctuation marks in a row (don't forget the quotes too) just looks ugly. Give some consideration to the reader's sense of aesthetics!
    To be honest, my sense of aesthetics tells me I'd be way more comfortable with those "rows", since they just make it more logical. What doesn't change the fact that it's not considered as standard in most of styles of punctuation that are in widespread use.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    So, we don't do the following 'logical' things:
    Did he say, 'Go away!'?
    You haven't told us what you would do. :)
    I've written:
    Did he say, "Go away." or "Go away!"? (my sentence)
    so would you correct it to:
    Did he say, "Go away." or "Go away"? (what's the difference?)
    or
    Did he say, "Go away." or "Go away!" (are you asking me or telling me?)
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    For the sentence of this thread, I'd do it Cagey's way.

    Myridon, I fear if I dealt with my own sentences, we'd be meandering away from the thread question ... Perhaps you could start a thread on those sentences!
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    You are free ignore my sentence, but you should at least tell us how you would correct your own sentence otherwise I think you should remove it entirely. It's not helpful to say "This is wrong" without saying what is right.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    It's because I didn't want to say which was right! :eek:

    If push comes to shove, I'd write:
    Did he ask, 'Where are you going'?
    Did he say, 'Go away'?
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top