When we highlight words with quotation marks, should the periods and commas be within or outside of them?


Question 1

A) He is such a "good guy."


B) He is such a "good guy".

Question 2

A) This smartphone is the "smartest," you should get it.


B) This smartphone is the "smartest", you should get it.

If possible, kindly explain why are you picking those choices.

Thank you.

  • This is just a matter of style. The Oxford Manual of Style recommends putting commas and periods inside the quotation marks, although the rules are more complicated for double punctuation. Other style guides may differ. – Mick Dec 12 '17 at 8:01

The British style puts the outside the quotes and the American style puts them inside the quotes.

Essentially, it doesn't really matter as long as you are consistent throughout your writing.

Also, why not search before posting? [1] [2]


Firstly, you could think of it as a question of style alone, and the answer depends on the style manual that is applicable in each case.

On the other hand, an important point in cases such as these is if what is being quoted (enclosed in quotes) is a complete sentence or a fragment. If it is complete sentence, it comes with its own terminal period, which will be part of the quotation and so will be within the pair of quote marks. If not, the overall sentence will end with period after the quotation, that is, after the closing quotation mark. This should be the principal criterion unless the applicable style overrides.

He is such a "good guy". -- quoting a phrase
He said, "He is such a good guy." -- quoting a sentence
He said, "He is such a good guy.". -- quoting sentence, with normal terminal period if style requires it.

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