Use of Quotation Marks (“ “)

Quotation marks, most commonly known as inverted commas, quotes, quote marks, or speech marks, are punctuation marks that are always used in pairs, especially when a direct speech has to be presented, or a quotation has to be mentioned, or a phrase needs to be used.

Using quotation marks just before the sentence is called an opening quotation mark and the one which is used at the end of the sentence is called a closing quotation mark. Quotation marks are often used with direct quotes and titles of certain works, in order to implicit alternate meanings, and to write words as they are.

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check-markHere is when to use quotation marks

When a person wants to use someone else’s words in his/her writing, quotation marks are used. For instance, you want to communicate your mother’s statement as it was said, you will use inverted commas to present that statement as it is. For example: Mom said, “I am really tired of my students.”

However, this sentence can be written without using quotation marks also, but in a different way. For example: Mom said that she was really tired of her students.

In the first sentence exact statement has to be reported, therefore, quotation marks are used, it is called a direct quote. Whereas, the second sentence is an indirect quote because it was paraphrased of what mom said.

Therefore, quotation marks are always used with direct quotes. Besides, it is also used for quoting a written source, to emphasize titles of all types of compositions, titles of books, albums, newspapers, magazines, and other autonomous and bigger bodies of work. These works are usually italicized. Also, in order to emphasize on the smaller bodies of work – poems, chapters, and articles, or bodies of work which form a larger body of work, quotation marks are used. Moreover, quotation marks can also be used for words used as words. For example: “extravagant” means to spend lavishly. The quotation marks used here simply show that the stress is on the word extravagant and not on action of spending.

check-markForms of direct quotations

Direct quotations are of two types:

  • Run-in quotations
  • Block quotations

Run-in quotations: They are shorter quotes and are formatted the same as the surrounding text.

Block quotations: They are long quotes and are separated from the surrounding text.

check-markRules for using quotation marks

  • First things first, once a quotation is opened, it has to be closed. So that the person reading your work can understand where the quote starting and where it is ending.
  • More often than not, the text inside the quotation marks is capitalized. However, capitalization of the quoted material very much depends on the material itself. For instance, if a complete sentence has to be quoted, it should always start with a capital letter, even if it is placed in the middle of a sentence. For example: Ganguly said, “It’s an honor that I’ve been asked to take over as president.”
  • But if a phrase or a part of a sentence is to be quoted, then it should start with a small letter only. Like: She called him “loud, motor mouthed, and extremely annoying,” and she left.
  • If a quote is divided into two halves in order to interject a parenthetical, then the second part of the quote should not be capitalized. Like: “The problem with the politics,” Liza explained, “is that it is not organized.”
  • There are different rules for other punctuation marks such as commas and periods are always used inside the quotation marks. While, colons, semicolons and dashes are used outside the quotation marks.

Examples: “Jofra Archer is a great player,” said Laura.

Richard, however, didn’t agree her. “I’m not sure if I really like his game.”

Richard uttered: “Leave me alone.”

  • Then, question marks and exclamations have their own rules. If they apply to the quoted material, they are used within the quotation marks. But, if they apply to the whole sentence, they are used outside the quotation marks. For example: Viraat asked Rohit, “When are you leaving for London?”

Did you hear him saying “I’m very impolite”?

  • In case of using quotes within quotes, quotation mark will be used for both the quotes. For example: “”Jack Ryan Season 1″ is my favorite amongst all seasons,” said Tom.

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By Bizhan Romani

Dr. Bizhan Romani has a PhD in medical virology. When it comes to writing an article about science and research, he is one of our best writers. He is also an expert in blogging about writing styles, proofreading methods, and literature.

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