How to Use Quotation Marks
Use quotation marks when you want to repeat someone’s exact words.
He said, “I hope I can do that when I am his age.”
Basic Teaching for Quotation Marks
If you follow four simple rules, you will be right most of the time.
She said, “It was a dumb idea, but we did it anyway.”
- Put a comma before the opening quotation mark.
- Start the person’s words with a capital letter.
- Put the punctuation that belongs with their words before the closing quotation mark.
- Start a new paragraph for each new speaker.
Here’s another example using the above rules.
My co-worker asked, “Is there a meeting this afternoon?”
Quotation Marks – Computers vs Handwriting
On keyboards, there are 2 kinds of quotation marks:
- straight marks; and
- curly quotes (also called “smart” quotes). The opening quotation marks look like tiny 6’s with the circles filled in; the closing quotation marks look like tiny 9’s with the circles filled in.
Writing or Printing by hand
In English, quotation marks should always be small and placed near the top of the letters. Use curly quotation marks when writing by hand.
In the dictation exercises, you are sometimes required to type a quotation.
- The reader will say, “Open quote.” This indicates the beginning of a quotation.
- The reader will say, “Close quote.” This indicates the end of a quotation.
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