Quotation Marks

Understanding how to use them properly

 

There are many rules that must be remembered when placing quotation marks within your writing.  These rules will be of tremendous use to you while creating dialogue within your short stories. Look for the RED highlighted details in the examples for each rule.

 

1.) Use double quotations (") to quote direct speech.

Example: Mr. Ramon said, "Teaching English at St. Andrew's College is fun."

2.) Use single quotations (') to quote within a quote.

Example: Mr. Ramon said, "Barack Obama stated 'Yes we can!' during his campaign for the presidency."

Example 2: The agricultural reporter for the newspaper explained, "When I talked to the Allens last week, they said, 'We refuse to use that pesticide.'"

3.) Use a comma to introduce a direct quotation.

Example: Mr. Ramon said, "Teaching English at St. Andrew's College is fun."

4.) Use a comma to indicate the speaker after a direct quote

Example: "Teaching English at St. Andrew's College is fun," said Mr. Ramon.

5.) Use commas to indicate the speaker while interrupting a direct quotation.

Example: "He likes to watch television," she said, "especially when the Olympics are taking place."

6.) Use a capital letter with the first word of a direct quotation if it is a complete sentence. Do not use a capital letter with the first word of a direct quotation if it does not make a complete sentence. 

Example: Mr. Ramon said, "Teaching English at St. Andrew's College is fun."

Example 2: Mr. Ramon said that teaching is "fun" during our most recent class.

7.) Place a period within the quotation marks if the quotation finishes the sentence.

Example: Mr. Ramon said, "Teaching English at St. Andrew's College is fun."

8.) Place a question mark, or exclamation point within closing quotation marks when the punctuation applies to the quotation itself and outside of the quotation marks when it applies to the whole sentence.

Example 1: Mr. Ramon asked, "Do you need this book?"

Example 2: Does Mr. Ramon always say to his students, "You must work harder"?

Example 3: Mr. Ramon shouted enthusiastically, "We won! We won!"

9.) Use quotation marks to indicate words used ironically, with reservations, or in some unusual way.

Example: The great march of "progress" has left millions impoverished and hungry.

 

Other information to consider is listed below:

Quotation Marks for Titles of Minor Works and Parts of Wholes. Do not use them for Major Works

Use quotation marks for:

Use underlining or italics for titles of major works or of works that contain smaller segments such as books; plays of three or more acts; newspapers, magazines, journals, or other periodical publications; films; and television and radio series.

Do not use quotation marks for referring to the Bible or other sacred texts or to legal documents.