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Grammatik auf Englisch - Wohin mit den Satzzeichen?

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Satzzeichen Englisch, Englische Satzzeichen

Due to the double impact of the Internet and Hollywood, British English and American English are slowly blending – or at the very least are becoming confused. No one knows where it will end, but what we do know is that what we have now is confusion: confusion about spelling, confusion about punctuation. One large area of confusion – not caused by Hollywood – involves the use of quotation marks.

Quote or quotation?
Because of their use on the Internet, these words are now confused by most business people. On the Internet, you often read about someone’s favourite “quote” or stumble across a famous “quote” from Shakespeare. Or should it be a famous quotation? And the answer is: quotation is correct. Quote is a verb. Be careful not to use them incorrectly:

He quoted Shakespeare during his presentation.

That’s a famous quotation from Charles Dickens.


Inside or outside
“I am firmly convinced we will be able to brave this storm”, said our CEO. “That’s why we’ve proceeded with our plans to acquire Mao Accounting Consultants.”

If you’re reading this sentence, you probably don’t stumble. But if you’re writing something like it, you might find yourself stymied by a rather long moment of indecision when you get to that comma after storm. Should the comma go before the closing quotation mark, or should it follow it? And what about the last full stop? Inside our outside the quotation mark?

When you need an answer fast, mid-sentence, you’re not likely to get it. Check the Internet briefly and you’re certain to find examples of both. And somewhere you’ll find the rules laid out: Americans always put punctuation inside the quotation marks, and that the British only put it there if it’s part of the quotation itself and not part of the punctuation of the overall sentence. You pick up a British novel and see that single quotation marks have been used first, and double quotations within them. And on an American Website, you notice double quotation marks on the outside and single inside. And then you notice that some British sources, like The Guardian Online, seem to use the American approach. Yes, the lines are blurring.
The best approach? Ignore what you see on the Internet and follow these rules:

Single or double?
In the British English of 1908, double quotation marks ( or double quotes as they are also called, despite the fact that quote is a verb ) were the standard established by The King’s English, written by Henry Watson and Francis George Fowler. Single quotes ( also called inverted commas in the UK ) were used inside double quotes to quote or highlight material within a quotation. American English followed The King’s English.

Later, Henry Fowler went on to advocate the use of single quotes on the outside and double quotes on the inside, stating that it was more logical. He didn’t say why. Nevertheless, by the 1960s, the British approach was opposite the American approach. Today, usage has flip-flopped back again. Although novels still tend to use the revised Fowler approach, nearly everything on the Internet follows the rules of The King’s English. Therefore:
Always use double quotation marks on the outside. Use single quotation marks within double quotation marks.

Position of punctuation
British English advocates placing all punctuation in the most logical place. Thus if punctuation is part of a quotation, it should be placed within the quotation marks. If it is part of the sentence, however, and would be needed even if the quotation weren’t there, then it should be placed outside the quotation marks in the appropriate position. For example:

“I’ve never heard such an outrageous statement in my life”, retorted Anne. ( the comma is part of the sentence )

Former US President George W. Bush said: “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?” ( the question mark is part of the question and thus belongs inside )
Didn’t she say “I’ll be coming with you”? ( the question mark is part of the sentence )
Former US President George W. Bush once said: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” ( the full stop is part of the quotation )
Mary Elizabeth used to call her office mate “duck face”. ( the full stop is part of the sentence )


Quoting fragments
In the above example, “duck face” is a fragment of speech someone may have said, not a complete statement. Such text should be surrounded by double quotes. If you’re already quoting something someone has said and the quotation contains such a fragment, the quotation should be surrounded by double quotes and the fragment by single quotes. Inside the single quotes you would use double quotes again, but such use is extremely rare.

Quoting sarcasm
Quotation marks are also used to indicate that specific words are meant sarcastically:

The “president” of our labour union seems to take management’s side on every issue.
The “successful” international business executive who will be speaking at 4 is really the owner of a local Indian restaurant–and no more than that.
Again, inside a currently open quotation, single quotes would be used to indicate sarcasm.


Headlines
Quotations, quotation fragments and sarcastically used words in headlines are surrounded by single quotes:
Obama hires ‘dragon lady’

American rules
American English takes a unilateral approach to punctuation when it comes to quotation marks. Whenever any punctuation mark stands next to a closing double or single quotation mark, the punctuation belongs before the quotation mark( s ). It might not always be logical, but it is simple.
Our advice: Nothing is as simple as it seems. If you use the American rule, you also need to ensure your spellings are American as well. If you’ve learned the British spellings in school – and you work for a European firm – it’s worth making sure you can apply the British rules correctly.

Schlagwörter: Grammatik auf Englisch, Englisch Grammatik, Englische Grammatik, Englisch Grammar, Gramatik auf Englisch, Englisch Gramatik, Englische Gramatik, Englisch Grammar, Satzzeichen Englisch, Englische Satzzeichen

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