Rules for Using Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are used in several instances:

1. When there is dialogue
2. When there is a direct quote from another person
3. When using material directly from an outside source.
4. When a word is extremely vivid or important
5. To distinguish a word, or have it stick out to the reader
6. If a word has an underlying or ironic meaning

There are many rules for using quotation marks. It is very important that you follow these rules, or your writing may become hard to read and understand.

·       All forms of punctuation must be placed inside the quotation marks.
He asked me, "Do you want to go to the mall?"
NOTE: The question mark will be outside of the quote only if you are asking the reader their opinion on someone else's quote.
Do you believe in the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"?
However, if you're writing a question, and the quote is also a question, you then only put the question mark inside of the quote. EX: Did you say, "Can I please sit here?"


·       When beginning a quote, always capitalize the first letter of the first word in the quote.

·       If a quote is more than three lines long, do not use quotation marks. Instead, use a "block quote." A block quote requires that you begin a new line and indent as if it was its own paragraph.

·       If you have a quote inside of a quote, use "" for the main quote, and ' ' for the quote inside of the main quote. For example:
She said, "He said, 'It's fine if you come into work late.'"




 ↑ back to top