Wordwatch Towers

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

Quotation marks #4

with 3 comments

Day 14 :: January 14, 2009
Image by interpunct via Flickr

Quotation marks: avoiding a common mistake

If you are quoting a long speech which is divided into paragraphs, you will need quotation marks at the start of each paragraph. However, you will not need a quotation mark at the end of each separate paragraph, only at the end of the final paragraph. For example:

Mr Smith said: “I’m just about getting into this grammar lark. I didn’t do very well at school, but I think that was probably down to me. I can’t really blame anyone else.

“Mind you, I don’t think our English teacher was very good. And the headmaster didn’t have much idea either. The school itself was in a pretty poor state. It’s funny how the memories gradually come back.

“Actually, now I come to look back on it, I don’t think it was my fault that I didn’t do very well at school.”

Quote marks #1

More on quote marks

Quotes within quotes

What’s the point? A guide to punctuation


3 Responses

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  1. Interesting picture!

    Maggie Manning

    16/02/2010 at 8:47 pm

    • Hi, Maggie — I thought it kind of beautiful, but that knee and the clothing in the background bother me a tad. It’s trivia, I know, but perhaps I should change it for something — er — less knee-ish?


      16/02/2010 at 8:53 pm

      • I just hope there are matching closing quotes on her right hand. You know, so she gets the right effect when she makes that annoying “wiggling bunny ears” gesture with both hands…

        Michael Farrell

        17/02/2010 at 12:50 am

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