I. QUOTATION MARKSAlthough quotation markshave several functions,let’s concentrate on onlyone of them: usingquotation marks toindicate the use ofsomeone’s exact words.Take a look at the sentencebelow:When we finally finishedthe report, the bossmerely said: “It’s
Remember thatquotation marks should notbe used for an indirectquotation, that is, therestatement or rearrangementof a person’s exact words:Robert asked me how mybrother was doing.Neither are quotation marksused with well-knownproverbs and sayings simplybecause they are not directquotations.I really that an apple a daykeeps the doctor away.
Now here’s a basicguide on punctuation whenusing quotation marks:When a quoted statementoccurs at the beginning ofa sentence and is followedby an expression such ass/he said, etc., omit theperiod before the closingquotation mark and use acomma instead.“I think we should all gohome now ” he said.
When a quoted question orexclamation occurs at thebeginning of a sentenceand is followed by anexpression such as s/heasked, etc., retain thepunctuation mark beforethe closing quotation markand do not insert a comma.“Will you lend me the moneyor not?” she asked.“Stop picking on me!” heyelled.
When a quoted statement,question or exclamationcomes at the end of asentence and is introducedby an expression such ass/he said/asked, etc., acomma or a colon usuallyprecedes the openingquestion mark.In his letter Tony said “I planto arrive on Friday at 9 a.m.”In his letter Tony said “I planto arrive on Friday at 9 a.m.”
Let’s now take a look atsome practical rules that willhelp you learn how to positionmarks of punctuation inrelation to quotation marks.A. Periods and CommasAlways place them inside theclosing quotation mark.Before the conference, Dr.Foster said “I hope to beable to open your minds tothe beauty of Hungarianpoetry.”
“I’m sorry, but I don’tremember,” answered thewitness.B. Semicolons andcolonsPlace semicolons andcolons outside the closingquotation mark.Last week you said, “I’llhave the job done in twodays” however, I haven’tseen my results yet.Please send me thefollowing from the filelabeled “Ernest Szabo” acopy of his resumé.
C. Semicolons andcolons1. A question mark or anexclamation point goes insidethe quotation when it appliesonly to the quoted material.His first question was, “Howcould you do that to me?”When the final gavelsounded, the defendantshouted, “ Letme out of here!”
2. A question mark or anexclamation point goesoutside the closing quotationmark when it applies to theentire sentence, not only tothe quoted material.When will the boss say, for achange, “Nice job, Fay”?Stop telling me, “Don’tworry”!The quoted material is at theend of a question, but it is nota question itself.
3. If the quoted material andthe entire sentence requirethe same punctuation mark,use only the one that comesfirst.Have you seen the ad thatstarts, “Who wants to growold? ”Don’t yell, “Fire!”
I. ELLIPSIS MARKS1. Ellipsis marks are generallyused to indicate the omissionof words within a quotedpassage.“Each of us has an ego ideal... An image of the kind ofperson one can be ....”The person who quoted thispassage did not considersome original parts relevantto his purposes, so hedecided to omit them. Noticethat the last dot is the period.
2. Ellipsis marks are alsoused to indicate a speaker’svoluntarily unfinishedsentence is a dialogue.Robert: Well, what have youdone since you got out of...Gilbert: Prison?