Quotation Marks: How To Use Them Correctly With Examples

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As you probably know, quotation marks are used to set off spoken or written words that are repeated word for word. But did you know that there are different rules for using quotation marks depending on where you live?

For example, in the United Kingdom and Canada, periods and commas always go inside quotation marks regardless of whether they’re part of the quoted material or not. In the United States, however, this rule is reversed.

In this article, we’re going to look at the different rules for using quotation marks around the world. We’ll also give you some examples of how to use them correctly.

Quotation Marks

Rules for Using Quotation Marks

Here are the different rules for using quotation marks around the world:

United Kingdom and Canada

In the UK and Canada, periods and commas always go inside quotation marks regardless of whether they’re part of the quoted material or not. For example:

  • He said, “I’m going to the store.”
  • She replied, “OK, I’ll come with you.”
  • The sign said, “No parking.”

United States

In the US, periods and commas go inside quotation marks only if they’re part of the quoted material. If they’re not part of the quoted material, they go outside. For example:

  • He said, “ I’m going to the store.”
  • She replied, “OK, I’ll come with you.”
  • The sign said “No parking.”

Australia

In Australia, the rule is similar to the one in the US. Periods and commas go inside quotation marks only if they’re part of the quoted material. For example:

  • He said, “I’m going to the store.”
  • She replied, “OK, I’ll come with you.”
  • The sign said “No parking.”

New Zealand

In New Zealand, periods and commas generally go outside quotation marks regardless of whether they’re part of the quoted material or not. However, there is an exception to this rule. If the quoted material is a complete sentence that ends with a question mark or exclamation mark, then the period or comma goes inside the quotation marks. For example:

  • He said, “I’m going to the store.”
  • She replied, “OK, I’ll come with you.”
  • The sign said, “No parking.”

South Africa

In South Africa, periods and commas go outside quotation marks regardless of whether they’re part of the quoted material or not. For example:

  • He said, “I’m going

What are quotation marks?

Quotation marks(” “) are special punctuation marks that are used to set off a direct quotation or a piece of dialogue. They can also be used to set off the titles of short works, such as poems, articles, or chapters.

How do you use quotation marks?

Here are some rules to follow when using quotation marks:

  • If you’re quoting someone else’s work, ALWAYS use quotation marks. This lets your reader know that you’re not the original author of the material.
  • If you’re quoting a person’s exact words, use double quotation marks(” “). If you’re paraphrasing or summarizing what someone said, use single quotation marks(‘ ‘).
  • If a quoted sentence is interrupted by something else (like an explanation or a different speaker), put the interruption inside single quotation marks(‘ ‘).
  • Don’t forget to include the speaker’s name and any other relevant information, like the date or place of the conversation.
  • When you’re writing dialogue, each new line of speech should start with a capital letter and end with punctuation. The quotation marks go AFTER the punctuation mark.
  • If you’re quoting more than one person, each person’s dialogue should be on its line. Start each new line with a different speaker’s name followed by a colon(:).
  • When you’re quoting more than one person and there’s a speaker change, put a comma(,) inside the first set of quotation marks and start the new speaker’s dialogue on the next line.
  • If you’re quoting something that already has quotation marks in it, use single quotation marks(‘ ‘) for the inner quote. For example:

She said, “I read the article ‘How to Use Quotation Marks Correctly.'”

  • Remember to use proper grammar and punctuation when writing dialogue, even if the character is speaking informally or using slang.
  • When in doubt, err on the side of caution and use quotation marks. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

Tips on using quotation marks correctly

  • Make sure you use them consistently throughout your paper or story. If you start using double quotation marks, stick with double quotation marks. Don’t switch back and forth between the two.
  • Pay attention to where your commas and periods go. In most cases, they should go inside the quotation marks.
  • Use ellipses(…) to show that you’re leaving out part of a quote. For example, She said, “I’m not sure what you mean… can you explain it to me?”
  • If you’re quoting more than one person, make sure each person’s dialogue is on its line. Start each new line with a different speaker’s name followed by a colon(:).
  • When in doubt, use quotation marks. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
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Things to avoid when using quotation marks

Don’t use quotation marks for emphasis. They’re not magic words that will make your reader pay attention to what you’re saying. Using them for emphasis can make your writing seem weaker and less confident. For example:

  • The best way to use quotation marks is to quote someone else’s words directly.
  • Don’t put quotation marks around your own words for emphasis.

Avoid using quotation marks when paraphrasing or summarizing someone else’s work. Quotation marks are meant to be used for direct quotes only. Paraphrases and summaries are your own interpretations of someone else’s work, so they don’t need quotation marks around them.

Don’t use quotation marks when you’re simply stating a fact. For example:

The sun is a star. (This is a fact, not someone’s opinion, so no quotation marks are needed.)

And finally, when in doubt, err on the side of caution and use quotation marks.

Conclusion

Without quotation marks, certain types of writing would be very confusing. For example, if you were to write a paper discussing the various interpretations of a particular poem, you would need to use quotation marks around the lines of the poem that you are discussing to indicate that they are not your own words.

In addition, quotation marks are often used to set off pieces of dialogue from the rest of a story or conversation. This makes it clear to the reader who is speaking and helps to create a more realistic feeling.

Finally, remember that there are different rules for using quotation marks depending on which style guide you are following. The most important thing is to be consistent throughout your writing.

FAQ’s

Q: What are quotation marks used for?

A: Quotation marks are used to set off a direct quotation or a piece of dialogue. They can also be used to set off the titles of short works, such as essays, articles, songs, and short stories.

Q: How do you use quotation marks correctly?

A: To use quotation marks correctly, you need to know when to use them and how to format them correctly. Generally, you should use quotation marks whenever you are quoting someone else’s words verbatim. This includes both spoken and written words. When quoting dialogue, you need to include the appropriate punctuation within the quotation marks. For example:

“I’m going to the store,” she said.

If you are quoting a longer work, such as an article or essay, you will need to format the quotation differently. For example:

In his essay “On Friendship,” Cicero writes that “friendship is the only thing in the world that gives us comfort in our misery.”

Q: What are some other common uses for quotation marks?

A: In addition to setting off direct quotations and dialogue, quotation marks can also be used to set off nicknames, words used as irony or sarcasm, and unusual or unfamiliar words. For example:

  • He’s my “best friend.”
  • I can’t believe she called me a “loser.”
  • I’ve never heard of a “quokka,” have you?

Q: Are there any other rules I need to know about quotation marks?

A: Yes! There are a few other rules that are important to know.

  • When you are using quotation marks, make sure that you use the same type of quotation mark at the beginning and end of the quoted material. For example, if you start with double quotation marks, make sure to end with double quotation marks.
  • If you are quoting material that already includes quotation marks, you will need to use single quotation marks around the quoted material. For example: He said, “I can’t believe she called me a ‘loser.'”
  • When writing about works of fiction, such as novels, short stories, or plays, you should use italics rather than quotation marks. For example, I just finished reading The Great Gatsby.

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