Is this sentence:

What kind of a mother would say, "That backpack looks ugly on you."?

correctly punctuated?

  • Answered at Exclamation marks in the middle of a sentence and Punctuating a quoted question within a quoted statement. I haven't found the exact duplicate title yet. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 3 at 18:21
  • Sven Yargs answers that The Chicago Manual of Style, sixteenth edition (2010) recommends that one drop the period where double punctuation would ensue. Thus << What kind of a mother would say, "That backpack looks ugly on you"? >> / Oxford G t S does not disagree (but adds examples with ! + ? say). However, there is a move towards laxer regulations, so that more logical punctuation might be preferred. Think of a quote where it was important that the period be preserved: John's answer was 'He seemed to be awake' whereas Jill's was 'He seemed to be awake.'. So John lost a mark. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 3 at 18:36
  • It's also possible to avoid the use of a sentence within quotation marks and simply express it as a phrase: What kind of a mother would say that backpack looks ugly on you to their child? (I only added the extra bit to make the italics clear.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 6 at 19:10

I read the AP StyleBook's section on this and, yes--it is correctly punctuated.

From APStylebook, accessed 10-3-2019, 7:37 am, It says,

"Using parentheses with other punctuation marks: 1. When a complete sentence within parentheses stands alone (that is, not as part of another sentence), its end punctuation goes inside the closing parenthesis."

While the question mark, that punctuates the whole sentence goes outside of the inner sentence's, divided by quotation marks.

  • 2
    Parentheses are not quotation marks. – Edwin Ashworth Oct 3 at 18:39

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.