Just as the British and American rules for which side of the road to drive on are different, so too are their rules for the use of quotation marks and other punctuation.
In the United States:
- First quotations take double quotation marks.
- Periods and commas belong inside the closing quotation mark.
Example: “I’m going to a concert tonight,” said Amy.
In Great Britain:
- First quotations take single quotation marks.
- Periods and commas belong outside the closing quotation mark.
Example: ‘I’m going to the concert tonight’, said James.
When in Britain, do as the British do, and when in the United States, do as the Americans do–especially if you’re staying for awhile. Above all, avoid mixing the two styles in the same paragraph.
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