Rude Boy is legally divorced and can marry again with his full chest. So you can’t compare – Sarah Martins



Can you spot any grammatical slip in this statement? Try!

Okay, let me break it down a little bit. Any punctuation error? You still can’t find any? Check the very end of the last sentence. Yea! You have the full stop loitering at the end of the quotation mark!

This is a relatively common error we should avoid. I snatched the expression from a recent post by Nollywood actress, Sarah Martins. She gave a thoughtful argument on star artiste Rudeboy’s decision to opt for another marriage, having divorced his first wife about two years ago. You know online folks – they started pokenosing, with one guy trying to compare Rudeboy’s step to that of actor Yul Edochie, who had earlier married wife number two. Their actions and attending argument is not our business here. We are just using Martins’ statement to illustrate a tricky area in English grammar. Many do not know how to place the comma and full stop in direct speeches – when you present a speech exactly the way the speaker did, unlike the reported version. In ‘So you can’t compare”. the full stop should come first, then the closing quotation mark. Of course, the statement sounds like a question, in which case a question mark is expected. But whether it is the question mark or the full stop, the quotation mark should come last in the context.

Study the following:

She said, “I don’t want to compare them.”

I don’t want to compare them,” she said.


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