Period -- The Punctuation Guide
In America, commas and periods go inside quotation marks, while semicolons and colons go outside, regardless of the punctuation in the original quotation. Question marks and exclamation points depend on whether the question or exclamation is part of the quotation, or part of the sentence containing the quotation. Some examples:
The period is perhaps the easiest punctuation mark to master
Grammar Girl; Grammar Underground. Punctuation Junction: Periods and Parentheses When a whole sentence falls inside parentheses, the period goes inside.
There are a few instances where it's wise to put the punctuation outside the quotation marks — cases where it's really important whether the punctuation mark is part of the quotation or not. A software manual, for instance, might have to make it very clear whether the period is part of a command or simply ends the sentence in which the command appears: getting it wrong means the command won't work. Bibliographers are concerned with the exact form of the punctuation in a book. In these cases, it makes sense. Most of the time, though — when lives don't depend on whether the comma is or isn't part of the quotation — stick with the general usage outlined above; it's what publishers expect.
The Dos and Donts of Using a Period
This isn't a comprehensive guide to period usage; that would take more time and energy than I can spare. Besides, you already know most of the rules: a period ends a declarative sentence, and sometimes is used in abbreviations. Still, a few things aren't obvious.
Lynch, Guide to Grammar and Style — P - Rutgers …
This one is simple enough: never double up periods. If a statement ends with “etc.” the period in the abbreviation does double duty, serving as the full stop to end the sentence. If, however, you need another mark of punctuation after an abbreviation, you can put it after the period. So:
Terminal Points -- The Punctuation Guide
Along with , a favorite of the traditionalists. Whatever the merit of the — and both historically and logically, there's not much — there's a substantial body of opinion against end-of-sentence prepositions; if you want to , try to avoid ending written sentences (and clauses) with prepositions, such as to, with, from, at, and in. Instead of writing “The topics we want to write on,” where the preposition on ends the clause, consider “The topics on which we want to write.” Prepositions should usually go before (pre-position) the words they modify.
MLA Format Guide & FREE Generator & Instructions
In the era of typewriters, it was common practice to insert two spaces at the end of every sentence. As long as you are typing on a computer, a single space is generally preferred.
Learn how to use brackets, also known as parentheses, properly.
Linguists today are justly suspicious about such things, and most spend their time on descriptive grammars: descriptions of how people really speak and write, instead of rules on how they should. They're doing important work, not least by arguing that no language or dialect is inherently better than any other. They've done a signal service in reminding us that Black English is as “legitimate” a dialect as the Queen's English, and that speaking the way Jane Austen writes doesn't make you more righteous than someone who uses y'all. They've also demonstrated that many self-styled “grammar” experts know next to nothing about as it's studied by professionals, and many aren't much better informed about the history of the language. Many prescriptive guides are grievously ill informed.