Punctuation Puzzle: Periods and Commas Inside Ending Quotation Marks

Punctuation Puzzle: Periods and Commas Inside Ending Quotation Marks

He said words that would be remembered forever One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

 

Here is a possible answer with the reasons below. He said words that would be remembered forever: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

 

1. The first half of the sentence is a complete sentence speech tag.

That is, it is a complete sentence that could stand alone, but it could also be considered the speech tag for the quoted words. When a speech tag could stand alone, it is one of the few times that a colon is appropriate following a speech tag. (Note: You could also just consider it a stand-alone sentence and follow it with a period and have no “speech tag.”)

(It is not proper to follow a non-sentence/short speech tag with a colon. A comma should be used in that case.)

 

 

2. The beginning quotation mark comes just before the quote begins–before One.

 

 

3. The ending quotation mark comes after mankind–

However, the period for the entire sentence goes INSIDE the closing quotation mark as all periods (and commas) go inside closing quotation marks in the US (but not in UK).

 

4. Internal Comma

As for the internal comma (one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind), that is how the quotation is written almost everywhere it is written; thus, whenever you write a quote, you should write it word-for-word as it was when you researched it/found it. Some would say that should be a semicolon. It is probably more accurate to consider it a comma before an “understood” and. Either way, it is a quote and will remain with its original punctuation.

Original Biographical Essay Live Lesson (Video and Download Included!)

Original Biographical Essay Live Lesson (Video and Download Included!)

 

Teaching writing is not for the faint of heart! It is the most subjective “subject” in school—and, consequently, can be one of the most challenging to teach. Oftentimes, materials designed to teach writing are more writing idea than writing instruction. They leave the student (and the teacher!) wondering exactly what to do to complete the writing prompt. This is one reason that after I write a book (one hundred in all!), test, test, and retest the book with real (or virtual starting this fall!) students to be sure that all of the steps are included and clear. Last week I shared a lesson from one of my books that I did with a mixed live/virtual class about writing from a given source. This week I’d love to give you another peek into my online writing classes for the fall with another cooperative “guinea pig” group!

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Comma Clues #2: Comma Between Double Describers

Comma Clues #2 Use Commas to Separate Two or More Descriptive Describers

I recently had the misfortune of seeing a sign outside a chicken franchise that read hot, juicy, chicken. You can imagine my outrage!!!

It, of course, took us here at Language Lady to Comma Clues #2: Use Commas to Separate Two or More Describers (But Not Between the Describer and the Word Being Described!).

 

Two benchmarks that I teach for inserting commas between describers:

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Don’t Scratch Your Itch!

Don't Scratch Your Itch!

Okay, Reish boys–and anybody else in my virtual world who has non-virtual poison ivy right now!

1. Itch

a. A noun that indicates a place on the body that is irritated, such as a spot of poison ivy that is bothersome

b. A verb that happens to a part of the body: my poison ivy itches (meaning it feels like it needs scratched)

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