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How should I punctuate around quotes?

If I am quoting someone in my writing, and I end their quote with a period, and the end of the quote is also the end of my sentence. How do I properly end the sentence? An example of this is in my last question:

For example, "The file is not updat(e)able.".

Here is another example:

The boss said, "If you don't get your work in by tomorrow, you're fired.".

Is that how you properly end the sentence, or should I leave one of the periods out? If the latter, could you explain why?

  • Are you trying to write in American English or UK English? Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 0:47
  • @DavidSchwartz American English Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 1:06
  • 3
    I don't really see how this is a duplicate. It's related, but the other post doesn't answer my question as to ending sentences. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


For standard American English, omit the period at the end of the sentence and leave the one inside the quotation.

  • Thanks. Is there an explanation for this, or can you point me to some kind of resource? Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 1:31
  • 1
    It comes from old mechanical typesetting systems. The close quote is lower on the left hand side, making less space when the punctuation mark is to the left of it. Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 1:36
  • The confusion is probably because periods need to come after parentheses (because writing in parentheses is technically not part of the sentence). You should be able to take away parenthetical text without causing an error, so if you were to put a period within the parentheses (like this.), the sentence would technically not have an end.
    – Adrian W
    Commented Mar 14, 2015 at 5:56

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