can I say "He has taken faith in Christianity."?

Karen123456

Senior Member
Malaysia English
#1
If someone is converted and becomes a believer of a religion, for example, Christianity can I say "He has taken faith in Christianity."? Is a period needed after "Christianity"?

Thanks.
 
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  • sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    #4
    "He has taken faith in Christianity" sounds unidiomatic, and wouldn't mean anything to me if you hadn't told me the context. I like JustKate's "He's become a Christian" because it's suitable both for someone who was not previously religious and for someone who has switched to Christianity from some other religion.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    #5
    I don't think a person has "faith in Christianity" in the context that you describe you would have to say, "He has adopted/converted to Christianity and has faith in God/Jesus/(The Trinity)."

    You can say, "He has faith in Christianity being the solution to the problem." In the same way that you can say, "He has faith in capitalism being the solution to the problem." Christianity is a concept that requires a belief in God/Jesus/(The Trinity).
     
    #7
    It is if it's at the end of a sentence. Am I perhaps misunderstanding your question? All sentences in English must end with some sort of end-punctuation - a period (also known as a "full stop"), a question mark or an exclamation point. It doesn't matter what the final word is. Does that answer your question?
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    #8
    It is if it's at the end of a sentence. Am I perhaps misunderstanding your question? All sentences in English must end with some sort of end-punctuation - a period (also known as a "full stop"), a question mark or an exclamation point. It doesn't matter what the final word is. Does that answer your question?
    Yes, JustKate, and thanks.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    #10
    Are you thinking of this as a sentence?
    If someone is converted and becomes a believer of a religion, for example, Christianity can I say "He has taken faith in Christianity."?
    If you are, the answer is 'no'. The question mark is a sentence-final punctuation together with the full stop (BrE)/period (AmE) and the exclamation mark, and in standard English they are not combined. Here is how I would punctuate that sentence:
    If someone is converted and becomes a believer of a religion, for example Christianity, can I say, 'He has taken faith in Christianity'?
     
    #12
    The question was about a period. Answer. It's needed for the sentence, "Sam has adopted the Christian faith." It's NOT needed for the question, "Did you just say, 'Sam has adopted the Christian faith'?" For AE, there is also the situation, "Jane told me, 'Sam has adopted the Christian faith.' " One period, inside.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    #14
    I follow the rule I was taught at school and place the full stop right at the end, because two full stops are superfluous and the main sentence always requires to be stopped; it takes precedence over the internal sentence:
    Jane told me, "Sam has adopted the Christian faith".
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    #15
    Wandle, this is a case of reported speech or direct speech, isn't it? I have read many novels published in the UK, and the full stop goes inside the inverted commas.
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    #16
    Wandle, this is a case of reported speech or direct speech, isn't it? I have read many novels published in the UK, and the full stop goes inside the inverted commas.
    I agree.The full stop is always inside the inverted commas. I wonder why Wandle's teacher taught him to place it outside them in direct speech.
     
    English-USA
    #17
    The rule Wandle explained is correct. In addition, the full stop goes inside the inverted quotation marks if the entire sentence is the quote. This seems to be one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly applied rules I've seen.
     
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    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    #18
    The rule Wandle explained is correct. In addition, the full stop goes inside the inverted quotation marks if the entire sentence is the quote. This seems to be one of the most misunderstood and incorrectly applied rules I've seen.
    In post 14, Wandle wrote: Jane told me, "Sam has adopted the Christian faith".

    natkretep says the full stop should go inside the inverted comma, and I agree with him.

    I think Wandle's teacher taught him wrong.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    #19
    I think it all comes down to style and context:

    John looked at them and said in a disbelieving voice "His last words were, "The treasure is buried at."?" The others nodded. -> Omitting the full-stop after at does not work; it looks like a printing error.
     
    English-USA
    #20
    I would have also thought Wandle's teacher taught him wrong if I hadn't learned the rule. Let's be careful to not let authors of novels teach us our grammar. Depending on the genre or topic, authors often violate rules of grammar to provoke emotions or emphasize a point.
     

    lucas-sp

    Senior Member
    English - Californian
    #21
    Let's be careful to not let authors of novels teach us our grammar.
    A) I'm not sure that the question of terminal punctuation in quotes is a "grammar" issue. It's a style issue.

    B) There exist many distinct styles of terminal punctuation in quotes; there's a huge difference between American and British traditions here, and there are smaller variations within those two large schools of thought. Diversity of opinion on this subject is well-established; claiming that there is a "correct" way to punctuate seems naive, unrealistic, and uncharitable.

    C) Almost never would an "author" decide on punctuation style. That's decided by the editor, the copyeditor, and the house style of the publisher. "Artistic license" is a red herring here.

    D) All that being said, I'm also surprised by wandle's choice in #14; in my understanding of British quotation style, if there is a complete thought expressed (including its own period) then the terminal period would go inside the quotation marks. I would expect: Jane told me 'Sam has accepted the Christian faith.' But then again, I'm not at all surprised by diversity of thought on this issue. If wandle ever wanted to publish his story, he would expect that the quotation style would be changed to match the style of the publisher who accepted his story - in the same way that if he published an academic article, he would have to reformat his citations to match the preferences of the journal/publisher.
     
    English-USA
    #22
    Terminal punctuation is definitely a grammar issue, and there are rules that dictate how to correctly write it. After consulting my most trusted source for the most up-to-date grammar rules, I must admit that my friend lucas-sp is partially correct in his argument. It is true that tradition has influenced terminal punctuation. The current rule says that in Britain, the period always goes outside the quotation marks. In the United States, the period always goes inside the quotation marks-pretty straight forward.

    Regarding authors and editors, publishing has evolved in a way that now allows authors more control through self publishing, self editing, and a greater ability to dictate acceptable writing styles. So as I said before, let's not take the grammar we see in books as always correct.
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    #23
    Terminal punctuation is definitely a grammar issue, and there are rules that dictate how to correctly write it. After consulting my most trusted source for the most up-to-date grammar rules, I must admit that my friend lucas-sp is partially correct in his argument. It is true that tradition has influenced terminal punctuation. The current rule says that in Britain, the period always goes outside the quotation marks. In the United States, the period always goes inside the quotation marks-pretty straight forward.

    Regarding authors and editors, publishing has evolved in a way that now allows authors more control through self publishing, self editing, and a greater ability to dictate acceptable writing styles. So as I said before, let's not take the grammar we see in books as always correct.
    Do you mean if I write: The sentence which shows that the boy is not stupid is "He is cunning". (The full stop is outside the quote marks in British English. I was taught the other way round.) Thanks.
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    #25
    Yes. It says that as a general rule in Britain, the period goes after the quotations.
    Your reply surprises me as it seems I was taught wrong by my teachers.

    I was taught that the period is outside the quotation only when it is a word. For example, The word is "cunning". But when it is a sentence, the period goes inside the quotation when it is a sentence -- for example, The sentence is "He is cunning."
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    #26
    Karen is right. See this page from Oxford Dictionaries that shows British style punctuation for reported speech:
    There should be a comma, full stop, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end of a piece of speech. This is placed inside the closing inverted comma or commas.
    ‘Can I come in?’ he asked.
    ‘Just a moment!’ she shouted.
    ‘You’re right,’ he said.
    'I didn't expect to win.'
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    #27
    As a matter of fact, none of those examples corresponds to the pattern we are considering:
    Jane told me, "Sam has adopted the Christian faith".
    In this case, the direct speech comes within the same sentence, following the introductory expression earlier in the sentence.

    The Oxford Dictionaries page does not address this case directly. However, they give an example of it while explaining a different rule:
    If direct speech comes after the information about who is speaking, you should use a comma to introduce the piece of speech, placed before the first inverted comma:
    Steve replied, ‘No problem.’
    In this example, they have placed the final inverted comma outside the full stop.

    This contradicts the rule I was taught and which I have always understood to be the traditional British practice. The two principles underlying it are (a) that a full stop terminates the sentence and (b) that quotation marks enclose the spoken utterance and separate it from the rest of the sentence.

    Applying this to the OD example, we can say that if there is a comma following 'replied', then the main sentence is still not complete at that point. If the full stop is placed within the inverted commas, then it belongs to the spoken utterance and has been separated from the main sentence, which consequently has still not been terminated.

    It may be that Oxford Dictionaries have unconsciously copied the American practice. I went looking for examples among my own books and found that this particular pattern is rare. Usually dialogue is presented in one of the forms illustrated in natkretep's post 26. However, I found an example in David Niven's Bring on the Empty Horses (copyright Hamish Hamilton, 1975). Niven is quoting the experiences of writers in Hollywood:
    Clifford Odets gracefully admitted that he appreciated the money 'because of thirteen plays I have written, I have made a living out of only two'.
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    #28
    Applying this to the OD example, we can say that if there is a comma following 'replied', then the main sentence is still not complete at that point. If the full stop is placed within the inverted commas, then it belongs to the spoken utterance and has been separated from the main sentence, which consequently has still not been terminated.
    Wandle, there is also the rule of including only a single terminal punctuation, which accounts for why we do not punctuate like these sentences below.

    1. He said, 'I am ill.'.
    2. He asked, 'Where are you?'.
    3. Did he ask, 'Where are you?'?

    Those would be completely logical. All three contain quotations of sentences so the full stop and question marks belong to the quoted sentences. In practice, we omit the punctuation after the close inverted comma. Which takes us back to Karen's original question! ;)

    The Niven quotation is not a real instance of direct speech. It in fact starts of as indirect speech (' ... admitted that he appreciated ...' instead of '... admitted, "I appreciate the money ..." ') so it's punctuated like indirect speech.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    #29
    Wandle, there is also the rule of including only a single terminal punctuation
    I did cover that in my first post on this:
    I follow the rule I was taught at school and place the full stop right at the end, because two full stops are superfluous and the main sentence always requires to be stopped; it takes precedence over the internal sentence:
    Jane told me, "Sam has adopted the Christian faith".
    The Niven quotation is not a real instance of direct speech.
    Well, it is direct speech whenever we quote the spoken word as it was spoken. That is the case here.
     
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    English-USA
    #30
    I now see why my source indicates that it is a hard-and-fast rule in the US, while it is a general rule in Britain. I realize that I have been applying the British rule all along! That explains why I agreed with Wandle- an unintended lesson learned.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    #31
    Well, it is direct speech whenever we quote the spoken word as it was spoken. That is the case here.
    That is true, but the rules of punctuation may differ depending on whether we start a quotation as we start a sentence, that is, with a capital letter. In BE the period would be placed after the final quotation mark in Niven's sentence and in AmE before it.
     
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