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How to use quotation marks at the end of a sentence.

My question is this:

When I end a sentence with a word in quotation marks, do the quotation marks ever belong before the period? Example:

My Mom says I am a "slob," but I think it is unfair to call me a "slob."

Or should it be:

My Mom says I am a "slob", but I think it is unfair to call me a "slob".

Apr 11, 2009   #2
This is an excellent question. Many people are unsure how to use it appropriately. I'm not an English expert in any way shape or form, but I'll share what I do know.

In British English, it follows the more logical method...

My Mom says I am a "slob", but I think it is unfair to call me a "slob".

On the other hand, American English always requires periods and commas to go inside the quotation marks, irregardless of what would be linguistically logical.

My Mom says I am a "slob," but I think it is unfair to call me a "slob."

The only real exception I'm aware of is regarding quoted words or statements that flow in your sentence without the need for a break or pause.

The phrase "chivalry is dead" suggests that the expectations of men in today's society has changed.

In these cases, you bypass the rule by avoiding the usage of a comma/period.

If there is anyone who is more experienced than I, please share your feedback!
Wikipedia's page on quotation marks has an excellent explanation of the exact difference between American and British usage. I'd probably go with the American version, myself, even though Canada probably follows British conventions. Mostly it's a matter of what I'm used to seeing in the books I read.
Apr 14, 2009   #5
Thanks Kevin!

I'll definitely apply for that when I hit the required 20 posts.

After college, I intend to teach English overseas for a few years. I imagine that it could help my resume if I put that I was a contributor on essayforum.com!
Yep, they always go inside for American English. One of my teachers wrote a book for an American publisher. She spent hours going back and correcting all of her quotation marks and words like "colour."
Will word processing programs actually convert now? I know you can change the language settings and then run a spellcheck, but I didn't know you could convert directly from one to the other. Where do I find that in MS Word?
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