Grammar Lesson Friday: Punctuation with Quotations

Welcome to Grammar Lesson Friday!
This continuous series (posted every third Friday of the month) will address many common grammar mistakes made in the media and that I've seen more than once.  I strive to make the world a better place with good grammar.

Today, we will learn about using punctuation and quotation marks.

Put quotation marks after a period or comma. Put quotes before a colon. Put quotes after a question mark unless the entire sentence is a question. This is a US English standard. The British English usage can differ.

He asked, "Are you hungry?"
She replied, "Yes."
Did she say "Yes"?
"I don't know," he said.
"I think she did."

The example with the ? behind the "Yes" is the one I see the most commonly misused, especially in a series of quotations. 

She scrunched up her nose in a whine. "I'm tired.  I don't want to be lonely anymore.  This makes me confused."
I heard her say "tired", "lonely", and "confused".

Those commas are outside the quotations because they weren't part of the quote.

That's it for today.  Celebrate good grammar!

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