Quotation Marks


Rule 1

Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks, even inside single quotes.

Examples:
The sign changed from "Walk," to "Don't Walk," to "Walk" again within 30 seconds.

She said, "Hurry up."

She said, "He said, 'Hurry up.'"

Rule 2

The placement of question marks with quotes follows logic. If a question is in quotation marks, the question mark should be placed inside the quotation marks.

Examples:
She asked, "Will you still be my friend?"

Do you agree with the saying, "All's fair in love and war"?
Here the question is outside the quote.

NOTE: Only one ending punctuation mark is used with quotation marks. Also, the stronger punctuation mark wins. Therefore, no period after war is used.

Rule 3

When you have a question outside quoted material AND inside quoted material, use only one question mark and place it inside the quotation mark.

Example:
Did she say, "May I go?"

Rule 4

Use single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. Note that the period goes inside all quote marks.

Example:
He said, "Danea said, 'Do not treat me that way.'"

Rule 5

Use quotation marks to set off a direct quotation only.

Examples:
"When will you be here?" he asked.

He asked when you will be there.

Rule 6

Do not use quotation marks with quoted material that is more than three lines in length. See Colons, Rule 5, for style guidance with longer quotes.

Rule 7

When you are quoting something that has a spelling or grammar mistake or presents material in a confusing way, insert the term sic in italics and enclose it in brackets. Sic means, "This is the way the original material was."

Example:
She wrote, "I would rather die then [sic] be seen wearing the same outfit as my sister."
Should be than, not then.

Are you ready for the quiz?