Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Quotation marks #2

with 6 comments

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Not sure how to use quote marks? Go here first.

You may wish to break up your quote into smaller chunks. For example, look at the following:

She said: “The train is coming, but I might change my mind and go home instead.”

This could become:

“The train is coming,” she said, “but I might change my mind and go home instead.”

Note the position of the commas and make sure you put the full stop before the final quote mark. Also note that ‘but’ does not take a capital letter because it is not the start of a separate sentence, just the continuation of the quote.

Quotation marks #1

Quotes within quotes

Using speech marks with longer quotes

What’s the point? A guide to punctuation


6 Responses

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  1. I know this much: she’s sure to be drummed out of the local train-spotting corps (undoubtedly one of the odder British cultural practices…).

    Michael Farrell

    14/02/2010 at 5:04 pm

    • You don’t have trainspotters in the US?


      14/02/2010 at 5:16 pm

      • Maybe casually but nowhere near as organized as in the UK. We wouldn’t even know the word if not for the book and movie.

        A couple of years ago, we had a very disturbing and deadly train accident in L.A. where the conductor had been texting a group of young, male, train fans just seconds before the crash. (There were strong suggestions of impropriety on a few levels.)

        Michael Farrell

        14/02/2010 at 6:03 pm

  2. Now this, Alanis, is irony…

    Maggie Manning

    16/02/2010 at 8:46 pm

    • hahaha. The more I wrestle with “irony,” the more it eludes my grasp.

      Michael Farrell

      17/02/2010 at 12:46 am

  3. We Americans are stronger at trend-spotting.

    Michael Farrell

    17/02/2010 at 4:14 pm

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