Possible Duplicate:
Question mark usage/position when sentence ends with a declarative quotation?

If I'm quoting something someone said and the quote does not have a question mark, but I want to end the sentence with a question mark, would it be

Are you sure she said "Spicy?"


Are you sure she said "Spicy"?

marked as duplicate by simchona, FumbleFingers, user2683, waiwai933 Aug 9 '11 at 5:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.


You should write

Are you sure she said "Spicy"?

See for example Jane Straus's Blue book of grammar and punctuation.

  • What about a period? – JShoe Aug 8 '11 at 23:31

The question mark goes after the quotation mark. Unlike commas and periods, a question mark that is not part of the quoted text goes outside the quotation marks.

From 300 Days of Better Writing:

However, if your final punctuation is a question mark, semicolon, or colon, and if that punctuation mark is not part of the quotation, then it should go outside. For example: Did the boss say “fire everyone you can”?

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