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Suppose I am writing a sentence. The sentence has a sentence in inverted commas. After the closing inverted comma appears, the main sentence also ends. As the main sentence ends, there will a full stop at the end. In this case, there will be three punctuation marks in a row: first, there will be a full stop marking end of quoted sentence; second, there will be a closing inverted comma marking close of the quotation; lastly, there will be a full stop marking end of the main sentence. Take an example: The judgment says "John is guilty.".

To me, this use of full stops is logical; we cannot do away with any of the full stops in the above example.

Am I correct?

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    I don't think punctuation works in a logical way, rather it does in a reasonable way. The last full stop is not required. Never. – user140086 Dec 7 '15 at 5:08
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    Dear Rathony, if last one removed, then how one will realise that the sentence is over. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Dec 7 '15 at 5:11
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    There is one full stop (period) there. You need only one full stop to make the end of a sentence. You can easily find the reference on the internet, link. – user140086 Dec 7 '15 at 5:13
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    Dear Rathony, the 1st full stop marks end of quoted sentence, not the main sentence. If the 2nd full stop is removed, one will keep guessing if the main sentence has ended or is still to go. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Dec 7 '15 at 5:18
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    @ralph.m - Your comment says "Whether to put [a period] within or outside the quotation is a matter of debate and style". If so, then what will be the case when a quoted sentence is in question form? In that case, the question mark may, going by your comment, follow the closing inverted comma, giving a wrong impression that it is the main sentence that is in question form, though it is the quoted sentence which is actually in question form. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Dec 7 '15 at 17:14
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In your example sentence, there is no need of the last full stop.

The judgement says, "John is guilty."

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Punctuation is a matter of style, and as such you should be guided by your manual of style. I use the Chicago Manual of Style, which advises

A period should be omitted at the end of a sentence that is included within another sentence.

On the side of the Atlantic that includes the CMS, periods and commas are placed inside quotation marks:

The judgment says, "John is guilty."

The rest of the world places them where they make sense

The judgment says, "John is guilty".

  • Rathony is correct. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Dec 7 '15 at 5:25
  • @Rathony Thank you for sharp eyes. I fat-fingered the transcription. – deadrat Dec 7 '15 at 5:28
  • Your reply says "Punctuation is a matter of style, and as such you should be guided by your manual of style." If so, then what will be the case when a quoted sentence is in question form? In that case, the question mark may, going by your reply, follow the closing inverted comma, giving a wrong impression that it is the main sentence that is in question form, though it is the quoted sentence which is actually in question form. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Dec 7 '15 at 17:18
  • @DineshKumarGarg The answer is about periods. Question marks go inside or outside the quotes depending on which sentence is a question. – deadrat Dec 7 '15 at 17:46
  • @deadrat- Do you mean "period" and "question mark" do not follow the same rule? – Dinesh Kumar Garg Dec 7 '15 at 17:51

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