Quotation Marks: What they Are, How to Use them
Colons, semicolons, and dashes
In most cases, colons, dashes, and semicolons should be placed outside of quotation marks. The one exception occurs when the colon, semicolon, or dash is a part of the sentence you are quoting.
- He leafed through his mail looking for anything marked “personal”; then he ignored the rest.
- She always gave the same advice: “Don’t give up too soon.”
- “Now”—he pointed to the door—“it’s time for you to leave.”
NOTE: While many use the term dash and hyphen interchangeably, they are really two different marks. A dash is longer than the hyphen and is used to show a range or a pause.
A hyphen is a punctuation mark that's used to join words or parts of words.
Dash and Hyphen are not interchangeable in writing.