The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Placement of comma Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 7:27:09 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 4,188
Neurons: 16,901
“I am sure Mahathir will help to place a candidate (against Anwar in a by-election) and that is for sure.

“Mahathir will go all out to ensure Anwar doesn’t become prime minister”, Lokman was quoted saying by Malaysiakini.

Lokman said if Dr Mahathir’s effort to prevent Anwar from winning the by-election failed, it would mean the start of Pakatan Harapan’s downfall.

Should the comma be inside the closing inverted commas, in British English?

Thanks.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 8:39:36 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,946
Neurons: 174,372
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
The difference in placement of commas (with quotation marks) is not really a British/American thing.

There are several style-guides and the have different suggestions.

Some British institutions/newspapers/universities use the same style as some American ones.

I an British, and that sentence looks correct with the comma outside the quotation marks.

However, I don't like the rest of the sentence.
It looks like the writer meant "Lokman was quoted as having said (by Malaysiakini).

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Koh Elaine
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 9:20:16 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 4,188
Neurons: 16,901
Thanks, DragOnspeaker.

“Mahathir will go all out to ensure Anwar doesn’t become prime minister”, Lokman was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

Lokman was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini, “Mahathir will go all out to ensure Anwar doesn’t become prime minister.”


Based on the second sentence, it would appear that the comma in the original sentence should be inside the inverted commas.

You said, "... that sentence looks correct with the comma outside the quotation marks." Could you please elaborate on your answer?
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 10:16:55 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 29,946
Neurons: 174,372
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
The quotation contains a full stop.

The style I use would put that full stop inside the quotation marks, normally.

Lokman said “Mahathir will go all out to ensure Anwar doesn’t become prime minister.”

If you change the sentence round, the full stop is removed (as it is now in the middle of the full sentence).

“Mahathir will go all out to ensure Anwar doesn’t become prime minister" said Lokman.
No comma is needed at all, as the quotation marks separate the quote from the "said" bit.

If the rest of the sentence is long - a new clause or complicated phrase - it is permissible to use a comma between the quote and the rest of the sentence.

“Mahathir will go all out to ensure Anwar doesn’t become prime minister”, Lokman was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

This is the style I learned at school in Britain in the 1960s.

********************
The main rule of this style is "If the quoted sentence contains punctuation, that punctuation comes in the quotation.
If the whole sentence requires punctuation, that punctuation comes at its usual place in the sentence." (The only exception is the full stop at the end of a quote, if the sentence continues after the quote)

****************
In some other styles, the full stop does not just disappear, it becomes a comma - so you would see a comma inside the quotation marks.



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.