What are the rules on quotation marks? My English teacher decided our class has no talent with quotation marks, so she assigned us rules and we have to make examples to go with them.

I was having issues understanding what these two mean:

"A quotation grammatically in apposition or the direction object of the verb is preceded by a comma and enclosed in quotation marks."

"Quotations introduced by ‘that’ are indirect discourse and are not enclosed in quotation marks."

Could anyone explain what those two mean? And also, what is an "attributive phrase"?

2 Answers
May 9, 2016

A quote is bookended with double curly-quotes.


A quote within a quote is bookended with single curly quotes: "Don't you tell me to 'shove off,' young lady!"

A quote within a quote within a quote is bookended with double curly-quotes: "Did you actually say 'Don't tell me to "shove off," young lady!' to me?"

A single curly-quote can be used as an apostrophe, but there is no situation where a single double curly-quote can be used. It must be closed by a second one at the end of the quote. If the quote is interrupted--"Don't do it," she said. "Don't shoot my radio!", there still needs to be an even number of them in the completed quote.

If you interrupt a quote with the commentary of someone other than the speaker, use brackets: "I would never [Expletive deleted] say such a thing!"

A quote expressing an uncompleted thought should end with an ellipsis and a double curly-quote: "If I had only known about this..."

That pretty much covers it. I don't think I answered your precise question, though.

May 10, 2016

Sentences with quotation marks usually look like the following (all of them are examples). Maybe a sentence you need to analyze is written like one of these: if so, mirror the format.


What do you think of my new book "Stars"?

My favorite phrase to say is that something was "a piece of cake".

His parents always said, "a penny earned is a penny saved."

"The book made no sense," they began, "it was so confusing."

The best quote follows: "Forgive what hurt you but never forget what it taught you."

Although there are many other ways of writing sentences with quotation marks, these few should give you an understand of how they work

**Keep in mind that the commas/punctuation go inside the quotation marks and try to keep the meaning of the sentence the same, while experimenting with new structures.