This is correct:

"Rats," he said.

But this looks wrong to me:

"I left the oven on. Rats," he said.

I can't find any rules about whether you can end a quotation with a comma when there are periods inside the quotation. How would you write the second sentence?

  • In this case, I'd replace the comma with an exclamation mark.
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 2:15
  • In this particular case I'd probably write: "I left the oven on," he said. "Rats." But that doesn't answer your actual question. Commented Feb 28, 2015 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


I would write it: "I left the oven on. Rats", he said.

"Rats! I left the oven on," he said.

Or as @Erik Kowal suggested:

"I left the oven on. Rats!" He said.

  • You bring up an interesting point. Is the audience American or British? Americans tend to see the comma inside the quotes while the British tend to see it outside. Since "Rats!" is an interjection, though, I'd also vote as Erik did.
    – Paul Rowe
    Commented Mar 2, 2015 at 6:20

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