Ending a Sentence with a Quote within a Quote

An e-mail exchange from June 2000 with Eric Wirth, an assistant editor at the Modern Language Association.

Q: If a sentence ends with a quote within a quote, there will be two sets of quotations after the period. Should a space be used between the two different quotes?

A: A standard full space—the space used between words—would probably be too much in any context. These two characters should be separated by just enough space to allow the reader to distinguish them. If the typeface you’re working with places them too close together, you may choose to insert a small amount of additional space. This is really a question of proper typography, or typesetting. In ordinary typing, it is fine to type the two characters together without worrying about the space between.

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