legal system." / legal system". (Punctuation + quotation)

epistropheus

New Member
ukraine, ukrainian
Thank you very much for your answer.

By the way, may I ask you one more question?

When I write anything in English and I use a *quotation mark*, I'm never sure where I should put a point. In my native language there is a rule that says in such a case a point should appear at the very end of a sentence. How is it in English?

Namely -

Which one of the following sentences is correct:

"The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system."

or

"The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system".
 
  • winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Which one of the following sentences is correct:

    "The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system.":tick:
    But:

    He said, "The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system".
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    But:

    He said, "The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system".
    In AE, the period would go inside the close-quote here as well. Punctuation goes outside the close-quote only if it differs from the punctuation of the quoted material, e.g.
    He said, "I want to go now."
    but
    Did he say "I want to go now"?

    Elisabetta
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    In AE, the period would go inside the close-quote here as well. Punctuation goes outside the close-quote only if it differs from the punctuation of the quoted material, e.g.
    He said, "I want to go now."
    but
    Did he say "I want to go now"?

    Elisabetta
    I'm really confused. I have never seen this:

    He said, "text _______".

    He said, "I'm confused."

    What am I missing? :confused:
     

    sillybilly123

    Member
    canada-english
    If you are quoting somebody, then you say :

    John was mad because "Josh stole [his] ball".

    "Josh stole [his] ball" could be a quote from a book. (and in the book, it's John talking and saying that)

    But if you are writing something yourself:

    John said, "Josh stole my ball."
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Another of those pesky BE/AE things:

    A key problem with quotation marks is which other marks of punctuation go inside the closing quotation mark(s) and which belong outside. In the United States, most stylebooks and most editors follow these rules: periods and commas belong inside, colons and semicolons outside. Other marks—question mark, dash, and exclamation point, for example—go inside when they belong with the quoted material, outside when they belong to the main sentence. British editorial conventions differ.
    The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Copyright © 1993 Columbia University Press.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Another of those pesky BE/AE things:

    The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Copyright © 1993 Columbia University Press.
    But what about this:

    He said, "The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system".

    That looks like a standard quotation much like thousands and thousands I've seen in books from the US, the UK and from around the world because the quote starts with a capital starting a full sentence and ends with a comma. I've never seen such a sentence constructed with a period following the second quotation, only before the final quotation.

    If you remove the comma, then I would agree with this:

    He said, "I want to go now."
    but
    Did he say "I want to go now"?

    Elisabetta
    I'm sure I'm missing the point. There must be something obvious that is going right over my head. :(

    Gaer
     

    TrentinaNE

    Senior Member
    USA
    English (American)
    But what about this:

    He said, "The question you asked cannot be answered in general but only with reference to a particular legal system".

    That looks like a standard quotation much like thousands and thousands I've seen in books from the US, the UK and from around the world because the quote starts with a capital starting a full sentence and ends with a comma. I've never seen such a sentence constructed with a period following the second quotation, only before the final quotation.
    Gaer, I'm still not sure whether you are saying that you believe the sentence above is correct as written, or that the period should lie inside the second quotation mark. I particularly don't understand the part I've highlighted in red. What comma?

    Elisabetta
     

    winklepicker

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    I'm really confused. I have never seen this:

    He said, "text _______".

    He said, "I'm confused."

    What am I missing? :confused:
    Cripes. I thought this was standard - sorry chaps!

    The BE logic is this: every sentence should end with a full stop (period). If you put the stop inside the quote, the sentence doesn't end with a full stop.

    Perhaps AE and BE speakers should both convert to OzE. :)
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    There is a view in some BE conventions that the punctuation of the sentence including the quoted text should be as if the quoted text were absent.

    There is also the view that what appears inside the quotation marks should be an accurate quotation - including punctuation.

    Enthusiasts on this topic will enjoy the lengthy previous discussions on this topic:
    About punctuation....

    commas, full stops, and quotation marks

    questions and quotes?


    As usual, I like what is said in THIS LINK


    In a sentence that ends with a quotation that is a complete sentence, I would end with "... end of this sentence."

    If the quotation is incomplete, I would place the . outside the quote:
    "... Now is the winter of our discontent".

    The bottom line is that you need to punctuate according to the house style you write for. Alternatively, find a house style that you like and adopt it consistently.

    There is no right way/ wrong way.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Enthusiasts on this topic will enjoy the lengthy previous discussions on this topic:
    About punctuation....
    Let me start here, coming from this link:

    A guy named rich7 said this
    rich7 said:
    Besides, what about a question reported by somebody else?
    Example: "what do you want"?, she said. Is this correct?
    Your answer:
    Almost, but in BE we would place the ? inside the "", to read:
    Example: "What do you want?", she said.
    This is just one example of why as I read more, I'm becoming more and more confused. For the first time in two years—and I'm not exaggerating—I am totally confused. Answers I've read do not make sense for what I've seen in books from "both sides of the Pond".

    Nowhere in this whole thread did one person disagree with you, yet to me that looks totally wrong.

    "What do you want?" she said.

    The same thing happens with an exclamation point:

    "What do you want!" she said.

    I hope you or any other member will find examples where this rule is broken.

    Disclaimer: I'm not claiming that I'm right. I'm not claiming to know all the rules. I'm not claiming that my recollection is entirely reliable. I just don't recall the kind of form you showed in any book I've seen.

    Gaer
     

    Karen123456

    Senior Member
    Malaysia English
    The word is "clever".
    The sentence is "He is clever."

    Is the full stop in the correct place in the above sentences in British English?

    Thanks.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think that when you're quoting the dot is inside the inverted commas.
    http://www.economist.com/style-guide/inverted-commas-quotation-marks
    Here are two sentences from that source, given as examples of correct punctuation:
    The answer was, “You can't wash your hands in a buffalo.”
    ... he struck his companion-to-be as the kind of old man warned of by her mother as “not safe in taxis”.

    In the first, the text inside quotation marks is a complete sentence and therefore ends with a 'dot' inside the quotation marks - no 'dot' after.
    In the second, the text inside quotation marks is a phrase, not a complete sentence, so that there is no 'dot' inside the quotation marks - there is one after, to end the sentence.
    And two sentences from this source, also given as examples of correct punctuation:
    He yelled, "Hurry up."
    It's an oil-extraction method known as "fracking."
    The first of these is consistent with Economist, the second is not.

    Here we have two conflicting styles of punctuation.
    So what should we do?
    If possible, find out which style is favoured by the organisation you are writing for and use that.
    If you are writing for yourself, pick a style and be consistent.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    ...
    It's an oil-extraction method known as "fracking."
    ...
    I don't like this punctuation at all. It is obviously illogical.

    But before there was "fracking", there were printing presses with metal type. A comma or dot stranded too far away from something more substantial was a problem because it tended to get knocked off during printing. For this reason, publishers came to avoid combinations like g". when g." might be understandable enough.

    In the days of dot matrix and LASER printing (and "fracking"), we have the option to punctuate logically.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    Well said, Forero (and Panj).:thumbsup:
    [...] Is the full stop in the correct place in the above sentences in British English?
    It's not really a question of British English, Karen. There are two main approaches to the question of whether punctuation should be inside or outside quotation marks: typesetters' punctuation (see Forero's comment) and logical punctuation. Both styles have their supporters (including recognised reference sources), whether it be in the UK, the US or other parts of the English-speaking world.

    There are discussions of the subject in several threads, including this one and this one.

    Ws:)
     
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