Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are used to show that the words inside the quotation marks are someone else’s, not the writer’s own. So, look at this sentence.

“Come over here,” Joe said. So, the quotation marks right here and right here are conveying that the writer did not say “Come over here“. Joe said “Come over here“.

The next lesson: Italicizing and Underlining, included in Practice Tests.

The following transcript is provided for your convenience.

So, notice a few things about a sentence that has a quote in it.

First, you open up the sentence with quotation marks. Then, you capitalize the first letter of the first word inside the quotation marks. And then, if you have a sentence that is declarative or imperative, any sentence that would end with a period, if it was on its own, you end that sentence with a comma. Then, you have quotation marks, and then you say the rest of the sentence.

So, this sentence says:

“Where did he go?”

Notice we open up quotation marks, capitalize the “W“. But, if “Where did he go” stood by itself, it would have a question mark, because it’s a question. So, we put a question mark right here, and then close with the quotation marks.

Notice that the question mark is included inside the quotation marks. It’s not on the outside, it’s on the inside.

This sentence says:

“There he is!” He exclaimed.

So, in this case, the person’s saying it with a lot of emotion, so that’s why we end it with an exclamation mark.

Now, these next couple of sentences are kind of inverted from the sentences we’ve been looking at, because the quote comes later in the sentence.

So, this sentence says:

Michael said, “I can’t wait for dinner.”

So, you put a comma after “said“, open up with quotation marks, go through the sentence, and in this sentence right here is declarative, so it ends with a period. And, up here, we ended with a comma, but here, we’re ending with a period because we’ve come to the end of the sentence, and there needs to be some kind of period or question mark or exclamation mark to end out the sentence.

So, in this case, a period is chosen to end the sentence, and then quotation marks are put at the end. Notice that the period is inside the quotation marks.

This sentence says:

Michael asked, “What’s for dinner?”

In this case, it’s a question, so that’s why we have a question mark at the end. Again, notice that it’s inside the quotation marks.

Now, this final sentence is kind of unique. It says:

“I think we are having burgers,” Michael said, “Do you know what we are having?”

So, right here, there’s two quotes within one sentence.

So, it says, “I think we are having burgers,” so we open up quotation marks, we have the quote right here, we end with a comma because this is a declarative sentence, then we have another set of quotation marks, then we have something outside of the quotes, because we’re saying that Michael said this, and then we continue on with what Michael said. So, we open up with quotation marks that says “Do you know what we are having?” This is a question, so we use a question mark, and then we end with quotation marks.

So, those are the important things you need to remember when using quotation marks.

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The next lesson: Italicizing and Underlining, included in Practice Tests.