Does the ? in quotes replace the comma?

I know it does in the construction “Question?” she said, but does it do so in other situations? For example:I usually say “How are you?” even if that sounds bad.
I usually say “How are you?”, even if that sounds bad.My instinct says the latter, but my eye prefers the former.

Also, does it very in International vs. American English?

In American English, the comma would be inside the quotation mark if there were a comma, but you don’t use two punctuation marks in a row, so no comma.

A question mark or exclamation point usually is used in lieu of a period to end a sentence, but when a quoted text within a sentence is a question, it is used in lieu of the comma that would normally end the internal quotation.

In American usage, watch out for the end-of-sentence variants:

[li]She asked, “Who’s your friend?”[/li][li]Did she say, “He’s my friend”?[/li][li]Did she ask, “Who’s your friend?”?[/li][/ul]

Note that the last usage is the style I prefer for a question quoted within a question, but many people will omit the second question mark, which I believe is considered equally acceptable. Twix, other editor types, do you have a take on this admittedly-odd circumstance?

Twickster got it right.

Is your style preferred by any style guides? I must admit, I’ve never seen such usage. It looks very odd to me, although I understand the logic behind it.
The preferred style, as far as I’ve always seen, for your sentence is to keep the question mark in the quote and leave off the other question mark.

Thanks. I figured my eye was more correct, and that I’d just picked up bad habits from Wikipedia (where punctuation comes outside of quotes). I also figured it would be faster to ask here than to figure out how to Topeka it.

This I have never seen.

Would you really write, “Did she ask, ‘Who’s your friend?’?”? Yes, I think you would have to.

Unless one of them is a quotation mark, that is.

Bold added.

Who is teaching you guys this crap?

These are the rules.

Rules? There are no stinkin’ rules!

That’s the opinion of one style guide. If you’ve ever done any real work in the field you quickly learn that each style guide has its own set of rules and guidelines, which often shift from edition to edition.

If you are supposed to use The Blue Book, then it is absolute. If you are told to use another, then it is to be shunned at all costs. If you have a choice then it is merely one opinion out of dozens.

As I understand it, the movement to use punctuation and quotes more logically (as opposed to aesthetically) comes from programming, where it’s much more important to be clear than pretty. To my eye, for instance, the sentence:

Did she ask, “How are you?”

looks fine, but it does kind of bug me that there’s no question mark corresponding to ‘Did she ask’. Also, yeah, it totally looks weird to me to if a sentence ends with a quote, and there’s no punctuation before the next sentence. Like, if I say, “Hi!” That totally bugs me.

They aren’t my rules. I don’t like her Rule 1:

Did the sign really say “Walk,”? Did it say “Don’t Walk,”? I seriously doubt it. As runcible spoon said, some of us like to use punctuation logically rather than according to some strange aesthetic.

Um… no.

If you’re talking about the difference between the American standard:
“Carefree**,”** in general, means “free from care or anxiety**.”**
and the British standard:
“Carefree**”,** in general, means “free from care or anxiety**”.**)
yes there is a distinct stylistic difference.

Did she ask, “Who’s your friend**?”?**
“Did she ask, ‘Who’s your friend**?’?”?**
I have never seen.

Where have you ever seen that? If you can provide me some kind of cite or example from something official I’ll lay off, but I’m fairly certain any English teacher or professor would crucify you for doing such a thing.

“Official”? The English language does not have an academy, so there’s no “official” rule. But here’s someone who agrees with me:

Logically and grammatically it’s fine, but it’s stylistically awkward: in formal writing I’d avoid it, by rearranging the sentence if necessary.

“Mister Micawber” is a private English teacher in Japan on a message board. Not to mention he is immediately challenged by two others. Please show me something published.

This is absolutely true. That said, I’ve never seen any style guide suggest that sort of punctuation. I’m honestly curious whether it exists.

I’d actually leave the commas out of that one, but, if you want to keep them in, those are the standard American rules for punctuation in quotes. I don’t think any American style guide wants the commas on the outside of the quotes. However, if you’re writing for publications on the other side of the pond, you put them outside.


But English is very illogical.

I am aware that the British but periods and commas after quotation marks and Americans don’t. But would a Brit really put a comma in the sentences quoted above? All that is needed is the question mark at the end.

I am in full agreement that different manuals disagree on what is appropriate. I certainly would not follow a guide written by one person. DCnDC, your guide has only one author. If your teacher tells you to follow that guide, then do it.

Certain publishers will provide you with a style guide if you work for them. The New York Times may tell you to do one thing and The United Methodist Publishing House may tell you to follow a different set of rules.

I was an editorial assistant for a publisher and their manual did not differ in any way that I noticed from Harbrace, my personal favorite since college days.

Polycarp, Harbrace says that with a question within a question, one question mark used inside the quote is sufficient.

Also, Harbrace gives an exception to having the period within the quotation marks: “The period follows the parenthetical reference to the source of the quotation.

Example: Wolfe wrote of “a stone, a leaf, an unfound door” (Look Homeward Angel).