Which of the following is correct:

  1. (This is a "test").
  2. (This is a "test.")
  3. (This is a "test".)

1 Answer 1


Let's first look at the parentheses (Example #1). As is brought out in this answer (only the relevant point has been included):

Examine the material enclosed by parentheses. Is it an entire sentence? If so, place the period inside the closing parenthesis.

Since "This is a test" is a complete sentence, the period belongs inside of the parentheses, so the first example is incorrect (though, people will definitely still understand you even if you are "slightly incorrect" in that case).

The other two examples you posted will vary depending on if you are reading American English or British English. Example #2 is preferred in Britain, Example #3 is preferred in the United States. See the following answer for more details: How should I punctuate around quotes?

  • I suspect the mismatched quotation marks are a typo (and it's not breaking any HTML rules that I'm aware of). Could you please update your answer to address the position of the period in that example? Apr 1, 2014 at 20:44
  • 1
    @BraddSzonye Oh, I see now; the parentheses are part of the question (that's what I get for skimming the title).
    – IQAndreas
    Apr 1, 2014 at 20:47
  • @BraddSzonye And regarding HTML, yes, I know, but I hate that <br> is perfectly valid syntax. I feel <br/> should be a requirement, and I stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that it isn't. ;)
    – IQAndreas
    Apr 1, 2014 at 20:48
  • As has been pointed out before, the term 'British English' is misleading. Different styles are not country-specific. Apr 1, 2014 at 21:58
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth Do you have a link to where that has been pointed out before? If that is the case, I would like to include that information in the answer.
    – IQAndreas
    Apr 1, 2014 at 22:21

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