The sign said "Keep off the grass".

Questions (1) Comma after "said"? The sign obviously didn't speak, so omit comma? (2) There was no terminal punctuation (full stop) after "grass", so full stop goes outside ending quotes? (3) If the sign did have terminal punctuation, period goes inside like this, right? The sign said "Keep off the grass."

And, would a comma follow "read"?

The sign read, "Keep off the grass".

Thank you.

  • 1
    I think you are likely to get different opinions on this depending on styles to which individuals adhere. My own inclinations (I am British) would be as follows: No comma after said. I would put the full-stop outside the quotes, irrespective of whether the sign carried a full-stop or not. (If there was a specific reason to draw attention to the full-stop on the sign, I would mention it in words).I.e I would not use two full-stops. I think I might put a comma after read in The sign read...
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 17, 2015 at 12:47

1 Answer 1


1). A comma is not required, as commas are normally used when separating two sentences spoken by one or more characters.

2). When expressing what a sign or other normally non-punctuated set of words, a stop being inside the expression is not strictly required or frowned upon, though many people prefer the stop to be outside if the sentence is very short

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