Full stop and question mark

Hi teachers,

He says, “I am working”.
He says, “will you come?”
I’m confused about the full stop and the question mark. The full stop is placed after the quotation mark whereas the question mark before the quotation mark.

Many thanks.


  1. In the United States, the period goes inside the quotation marks: He says, “I am working.”

  2. Mona: Are you having a party?
    Tom: Yes, I am. WILL YOU COME?
    a. As you can see, Tom has asked a question.

THEREFORE: He says / asks, “Will you come?”

But there is this interesting problem. What do you do if there are two questions?

Did he ask, “Will you come?”

(a) Many people would punctuate it as I did.

Thank you very much.
I also punctuate as you do but I was reading a book where the period put after the quotation marks. Are they wrong?

Not necessarily. It depends on what was inside the quotation marks.

So both can be used.
Thank you, BN.

You are very welcome.

Mona said, “I love you”.

Is that what you are referring to? I believe that in some varieties of English, that is correct. But not in American English.

Have a nice day!


In the so-called “logical” style, periods and commas are put inside the quotation marks only if they are logically a part of the content:

Mona said, “I love you.” (the period is deemed to end the sentence “I love you”; we don’t use another one to end the main sentence because it looks ugly)

Mona said that she felt “love”. (the period is not part of the quoted material, which is not a full sentence)

The rules depend on chosen style and on regional differences, and can become complicated. There is more at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotation_ … iderations