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Quotation Marks

that's exactly what they said, word for word!


Quotation marks are inverted commas that report a fact from another source

They look like this: " "

By including quotation marks, you let the reader know that these are not your own words.


They always come in pairs: one at the beginning and one at the end of what was said!

Rule 1

If the quote sounds like speech, you should follow speech mark rules as usual.

For example:

  • Once, in a letter, F. Scott Fitzgerald confessed, "I love her, and that's the beginning and end of everything."



Rule 2

If the quote:

  • blends into the rest of the sentence

  • is a title

  • is used for emphasis

  • is explaining a word

  • scare quotes (when the writer thinks the word is odd or inappropriate)

then skip the punctuation before the quotation mark.


For example:

  • John Nugent from Empire said that Zootopia was "an engaging animation for all ages."

  • Time Magazine claimed Fitzgerald's "literary trousers are longer, less bell-bottomed, but still precious."

  • My favourite series is "Ever After High".


  • I've never read "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" but I've seen the movie.

  • I hate the word "February", I always spell it wrong!

  • To play "legato" means to play smoothly.


  • He likes to call himself a "genius".

no punctuation needed because the quote blends into the rest of the sentence, it doesn't sound like speech.

no punctuation since these are titles

the word "February" is being emphasised here

the word "legato" is

being explained here

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the writer doesn't agree

with the term "genius" here

so it's a scare quote

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