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By | 10 joulukuun, 2023

Straight Quotes: Inside or Outside?

Straight Quotes: Inside or Outside?

When it comes to using straight quotes in writing, the question of whether to place them inside or outside of the quotation marks often arises. Some style guides recommend one approach, while others suggest the opposite. So, which is the correct way to use straight quotes? Let’s explore the reasons behind both options and consider the implications for clarity and consistency in written communication.

Straight Quotes Inside Quotation Marks

One school of thought advocates for placing straight quotes inside of the quotation marks. Proponents of this approach argue that it maintains a unified and visually appealing appearance, especially when dealing with punctuation marks at the end of quoted text. For example, consider the following sentence: She said, ”The meeting starts at 9:00.” In this case, the period is placed inside the quotation marks, creating a cleaner and more balanced look.

Straight Quotes Outside Quotation Marks

On the other hand, some style guides recommend placing straight quotes outside of the quotation marks. Advocates of this method assert that it aligns with logical punctuation, as it places the punctuation outside of the quoted text unless it is part of the original quote. For instance, the sentence would be written as: She said, ”The meeting starts at 9:00”. In this example, the period is positioned outside the quotation marks, maintaining a clear separation between the quoted text and the punctuation.

Considerations for Clarity and Consistency

Ultimately, the decision to use straight quotes inside or outside of the quotation marks should be guided by considerations for clarity and consistency in written communication. It is essential to adhere to a consistent style throughout a document or publication to avoid confusion or distraction for the reader. Additionally, clarity should be paramount, ensuring that the intended meaning is accurately conveyed through the use of quotation marks and punctuation.


While the debate over whether to use straight quotes inside or outside of quotation marks continues, the most important consideration is to maintain clarity and consistency in written communication. Whether following specific style guides or personal preferences, writers should prioritize readability and accurate representation of quoted text. By adhering to established conventions and paying attention to details, the use of straight quotes can enhance the overall professionalism and effectiveness of written content.


1. Should I always use straight quotes in my writing?

It depends on the style guide or personal preference you follow. Some style guides recommend using straight quotes, while others prefer curly or smart quotes. Be consistent in your usage throughout your writing.

2. Can I mix straight quotes with curly quotes in the same document?

It is generally not recommended to mix different types of quotation marks within the same document, as it can lead to inconsistencies and confusion for the reader. Choose one style and stick to it for clarity and professionalism.

3. What is the standard practice for using straight quotes in professional writing?

Professional writing often follows specific style guides such as the MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style, which provide guidelines for the use of punctuation, including quotation marks. Consult the appropriate style guide for your writing to ensure adherence to professional standards.


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