The following rules are guidelines for using quotation marks.
- Quotation marks are used to separate the quoted part of a sentence from the rest of the sentence.
Ex. “Who put the dog outside while it’s raining?” Lisa demanded.
- Every quotation begins with a capital letter. The rules used to begin sentences should be used with quotations.
Ex. Maxine replied, “It’s not fair that the women have to do the dishes while the men watch the football game.”
- When a quotation is split, the second part does not begin with a capital letter unless the first word is a proper noun.
Ex. “You’re never too old,” Aunt Sue told me, “to learn something new.”
- If the quoted material is a number of sentences, treat them like separate sentences and follow standard rules for putting periods at the end.
Ex. Sam replied his Mark, “Relax. Charlotte is very attractive, but I do not want to date her.”
- Commas and periods that come at the end of a quotation go before quotation marks.
Ex. “Relax,” Sam replied to Max. “Charlotte is very attractive, but I do not want to date her.”
- Quotation marks are used to cite titles of short works (articles in books, newspapers, or magazines; chapters in a book; and short stories, poems, and songs). On the other hand, you should underline or italicize the titles of books, newspapers, magazines, plays, movies, music albums, and television shows.
Ex. I just read an exciting article entitled “The Peril’s of Indifference” in The Atlantic.
- Use quotation marks to set off special words or phrases from the rest of the sentence.
Ex. I often have trouble using “then” and “than”.