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Let's say I am quoting the verse "Do you like cheese?" from the Book Of Cheese.

Is it:

As it is written, "Do you like cheese?" (Book Of Cheese, 43:21)

or

As it is written, "Do you like cheese" (Book Of Cheese, 43:21)?

or

As it is written, "Do you like cheese? (Book of Cheese, 43:21)"

or something else entirely?

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    The first one looks correct to me. It is unusual to put the source within a quotation.
    – Anonym
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 20:39
  • Without information as to what the original that you're quoting is, how can we answer? If someone scrawled 'Hel?lo' on a notice, you'd have to say "Someone scrawled 'Hel?lo' on a notice." Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 20:53
  • @EdwinAshworth I thought it was painstakingly obvious from the three options given in the question where the question mark is and what is being quoted, but I suppose I could edit it to clarify for you. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 20:55
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/q/166/8019 Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 21:03
  • You have answered your question in its very first line.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 21:45

1 Answer 1

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In the book you’re quoting, the sentence is (presumably):

Do you like cheese?

That sentence includes the question mark.

When you quote something like you do here, you use quote marks to identify exactly which words belong to the quote; and then you write, either before or after or in a footnote or somewhere, where you have taken the quote from.

The only thing that should be inside the quote marks is the exact glyphs that you are quoting from the Book of Cheese; i.e.,

“Do you like cheese?”

The attribution that this sentence is to be found in Book of Cheese, book 43, verse 21, is not part of what is written in the book. It is part of the sentence that you are writing. As such, it should not be included in the quote marks that show what words you are copying from the book.

It should thus be:

As it is written: “Do you like cheese?” (Book of Cheese, 43:21).

 

Side note: it is more customary in English when capitalising titles of books and such things to use title case—where words belonging to closed classes (in English mostly articles, particles, prepositions, conjunctions, and pronouns) are not capitalised—than it is to use start case, where every word is capitalised. That’s why I’ve written Book of Cheese above, rather than Book Of Cheese.

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  • ELL. Although almost certainly a duplicate. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 21:31
  • @Edwin I looked for a duplicate, but was somewhat surprised to find that I couldn’t find an exact one. Borderline ELL, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt, since this is not really about learning the English language, but about how its punctuation is applied. Fairly basic, but I think just advanced enough that it arguably belongs here. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 21:39
  • Your answer is fine, of course; the question, especially followed by the comment 'I thought it was painstakingly [sic] obvious from the three options given in the question where the question mark is and what is being quoted, but I suppose I could edit it to clarify for you' doesn't deserve it. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 21:45
  • @JanusBahsJacquet why the . after the citation? Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 22:59
  • Because presumably you’re writing a sentence, in a context. If nothing came after the quote, you could leave out the final period; but since you have the attribution in parentheses, you should end the sentence with an appropriate punctuation mark. Otherwise, it would look like the attribution belonged to the following sentence. Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 23:08

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