Quotation marks are used to bring writing to life: to show who said what. That being said, quotation marks are also quite tricky to use correctly. Where do you put them? What happens to the other punctuation marks inside a quotation?
Let's take a look at some common rules for using quotation marks:
Use quotation marks to attribute a direct, word-for-word quotation.
- "I can't wait for your birthday party," he said.
You should always capitalize the first word in a complete, word-for-word quotation.
- My brother said, "The laundry detergent was my gift to you."
Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks.
- My mom said, "Come to the kitchen and eat your cake."
- "Come to the kitchen and eat your cake," my mom said.
If a quotation ends in a question mark, the question mark replaces the comma.
- "Do you want cake or ice cream for your party?" my friend asked.
Use single quotation marks for quotations with quotations.
- My brother said, "When I went to the store, the cashier said, 'You picked a good present!'"
You can use quotation marks in a sentence with technical terms, sarcasm, or words/phrases used in an unusual way.
- I got a special birthday surprise from my "friend" the tax man.