Prathna M. answered 07/04/19
Patient and Knowledgeable English, ESL, and Psychology Tutor
You’re right in your final assessment - it’s situational. Ending with a comma (“The car is on the road,” said Tom) implies that a sentence is being continued (said Tom). Whereas ending with a period implies that that’s the end of the sentence, so ‘Tom said, “The car is on the road.”’ is more accurate in this situation.
Bill B.Great question! Yes, you are correct about using a period within a quotation, as long as it marks the end of a sentence. As for ellipses, I think it depends on what style-guide you use and what kind of writing this is. Formally, you use ellipses to indicate that words have been removed from a sentence. Informally, you use them for effect, to indicate the speaker has paused. Here’s a good article about it, from the point of view of the AP Style. Note there are many style guides, often more than one for every genre, profession, field of study and publication. So, if you are writing a piece to submit, you need to first ask what style guide they use. Forgive me if you already knew that. https://www.bkacontent.com/ap-style-how-to-use-ellipses/ I don’t have my trusty Elements of Style with me, but I see an alleged quote from it on a discussion about how many dots ellipses should have on the Straight Dope website. "The ellipsis itself is three periods (always); it can appear next to other punctuation, including an end-of-sentence period (resulting in four periods). Use four only when the words on either side of the ellipsis make full sentences. You should never use fewer than three nor more than four periods, with only a single exception: when entire lines of poetry are omitted in a block quotation, it's a common practice to replace them with a full line of spaced periods." https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-230015.html