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Does the Comma Go Earlier than or After Citation Marks?


Punctuating quotations raises many questions, and when instructing a category on correct comma placement, I’m usually met with clean stares until I first break down the weather concerned: 1) guidelines of citation and a pair of) guidelines of commas.

As soon as college students have reviewed each makes use of, they will extra simply mix them right into a correctly punctuated, comprehensible piece of textual content. Let’s evaluate each citation mark use and commas to completely perceive the place to put commas each earlier than and after a quote.

Citation Marks Defined

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Citation marks are a kind of punctuation mark which are used to start and shut direct quotes and point out dialog in written textual content. In American English, they’re a double mark (“and “), making them simple to acknowledge whereas studying.

Using quotes gives curiosity and help to an argument by the usage of different’s phrases inside your writing. Direct quotes require citation marks, whereas oblique quotes don’t.

Dialog is enclosed inside citation marks to point a personality’s speech or thought, and if incorrectly punctuated, it might trigger confusion.

Direct Quotes

Quotations are used with direct quotes to symbolize an individual’s actual phrases, ideas, and speech. They’re often launched with the double citation mark as a part of an interruption or as a phrase inside one other full sentence.

Oblique Quotes

Oblique quotes don’t require citation marks. They’re often introduced as a paraphrase or abstract of one other particular person’s phrases, ideas, or speech.

Anytime you utilize materials that isn’t yours, you need to all the time present a quotation to offer credit score to the writer’s phrases.

Does a Comma Belong Earlier than or After Citation Marks?

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When utilizing direct quotes, it’s essential to correctly punctuate them in accordance with the place you could have positioned them in your personal written textual content. Placement of the comma is commonly significantly complicated because you would possibly marvel if the comma goes earlier than the citation mark, after the citation mark, contained in the citation mark, or on the surface.

If you happen to can hold the next 4 guidelines in thoughts, then you definitely’ll perceive why a comma is all the time positioned earlier than citation marks, and you’ll all the time place the comma within the right place.

Comma Rule #1: A comma belongs earlier than the citation marks when positioned after an introductory expression.

An introductory expression is a phrase or clause that acts as a qualifying or clarifying assertion about the remainder of the sentence. This expression is adopted by a comma which is positioned earlier than the start citation mark.

For instance:

  • The teacher made the instructions concerning the examination time very clear when he said, “the examination begins at three o’clock on the dot, and at 5 after three, the doorways will probably be shut and locked.” He additionally recommended we be there quarter-hour early.

Comma Rule #2: A comma belongs earlier than closing citation marks if adopted by a concluding assertion.

When your quote is adopted by a concluding assertion of any kind, you place the comma after the quote however earlier than the closing citation mark. This helps create a break between the quote and the narrative that follows.

For instance:

  • “I used to be questioning if there was any approach you would possibly rethink,” my boss said; it wasn’t a query he was asking, and I used to be a bit bowled over on the presumption.

Comma Rule #3: When an expression interrupts a quote, place a comma earlier than closing citation marks and earlier than the start citation marks of the conclusion quote.

Rule #3 is a mix of rule #1 and rule #2. Do not forget that a comma follows a quote and is positioned earlier than the top citation marks every time textual content follows, and a comma goes earlier than the following set of opening citation marks.

For instance:

  • “I’m not a fan of the prolonged say studying alternatives,” was the reply, “I want to let my college students act like youngsters on the finish of the day.”

Comma Rule #4: In dialogue, comma placement is dictated by speaker attribution and is positioned earlier than citation marks.

Most written dialogue is attributed to a speaker utilizing what is known as a dialogue tag. These tags permit the reader to know who’s saying what – an necessary element when back-and-forth dialogue is in use.

Dialog tags present credit score to the speaker and observe the identical guidelines of comma placement as the principles defined above.

When the dialogue tag is earlier than the dialogue, the comma is positioned earlier than the primary citation mark.

For instance:

  • He regarded her up and down, exclaiming, “You’re loopy if you happen to suppose I’m driving that far.”

When the dialogue tag comes after the dialogue, you place the comma after the quotes, however earlier than the citation marks

For instance:

  • “I’ll be again earlier than dinner,” Harriet yelled up the steps to her mom.

When the dialogue tag is used to interrupt dialog, the comma is positioned earlier than the closing citation marks and earlier than the beginning of the opening citation marks.

For instance:

  • “I don’t perceive this project,” Jerri rolled her eyes in frustration on the substitute,” and I don’t perceive why we have now to do it when the instructor isn’t right here to elucidate it to us.”

Let’s Assessment

Commas all the time come earlier than a citation mark if you find yourself immediately quoting one other particular person’s speech, textual content, or ideas. Additionally they all the time come earlier than citation marks when utilizing them to point dialogue in a written textual content.

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