Copywriting tips: Punctuation & quotes inside quotes

October 15, 2013 •
Pizza image for post about punctuation inside quotes

Confused about how to deal with punctuation inside quotes? What about quotes within quotes? You’re not alone. This is one that always gets me, so I decided to blog about it. Hopefully that’ll learn me enough to remember it.

American use

The boy said it was “the last slice of pizza.”

“There’s no more pizza here!”

Despite the menu’s claim, George said the pizza was, “great, but not ‘the best in the world.'”

Despite the menu’s claim, George said, “The pizza was great, but not ‘the best in the world.'”

British / Australian use

The boy said it was “the last slice of pizza”.

“There’s no more pizza here!”

Despite the menu’s claim, George said the pizza was, “great, but not ‘the best in the world'”.

Despite the menu’s claim, George said, “The pizza was great, but not ‘the best in the world’.”

The rules

  1. In American English, the punctuation (the full stop and the exclamation, above) always go inside the quotes.
  2. In British / Australian English, the punctuation goes outside the quotes, unless, for example, you’re quoting a full sentence.

Clear as mud? Good. Don’t clap, throw money!

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