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Basically I was writing a small prompt about relationships and was thinking about the general rules (I mean professionally writing not in the British way), you put a comma inside quotation of a quote but outside for a phrase if I’m not wrong. So here’s what I wrote: [[ there’s the phrase, “there’s plenty more fish in the sea”, ]] You get the point, I wasn’t clear whether that saying is a phrase or a quote and also if the comma goes inside the quotation. Thanks otherwise.

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    It's not clear if you're talking about UK style or not. In UK style, the comma only goes inside the quotation mark in two circumstances: it's part of what's being quoted, or it's the final part of a quoted sentence, and the it makes within the surrounding text. – Jason Bassford Aug 4 '20 at 6:08
  • Ohh my apologies, for your information I am an Asian-American, and this question had bothered me because whenever I wrote essays (middle school or even high school), I was confused and left punctuations outside of quotes unless included in the quote itself. But none of the teachers really clarified or elaborated on my mistakes until I read a news article and saw the way they wrote (I never read a chapter book), thus is why I asked here instead, but thanks for the clarification, this will definitely alleviate my problems for my future writing in college. – Wesley Guan Aug 4 '20 at 6:43
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If you are British, the comma goes outside of the quotations (in this case). If you are American, the comma goes inside of the quotations (in every case).


In British English, commas are only written inside quotations if they were in the original quote. Also, you place a comma at the end of a quote if you are quoting a whole sentence (this doesn't apply to this case but is still worth mentioning). In this case, the original quote was just:

There's plenty more fish in the sea [no comma]

so the comma goes outside of the quotations.


In American English, commas are always written inside quotations, regardless of whether it was there in the original quote.

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    This is not entirely true. See page 16 of the University of Oxford Style Guide. You can put a comma inside the final quotation mark even if it's not in what's being quoted, if what's being quoted is a complete sentence, and the comma makes sense with respect to the final sentence. For example: '‘Bob likes cheese,’ I said. It's a complete sentence being quoted, but the speech tag goes inside the quotation mark. This is a specific exception. – Jason Bassford Aug 4 '20 at 6:12
  • @JasonBassford Thank you for correcting me; I am American, so the only rule that I knew of was the one that I wrote about. I'll correct it right now. – user392938 Aug 4 '20 at 6:13
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    It's a subtle exception to the rule that most people aren't aware of. – Jason Bassford Aug 4 '20 at 6:15

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