How to Use Quotation Marks (1)

You’ll agree with me that mastering the use of quotation marks is essential to excellent communication. One question you may have been asking about this part of speech is, “How do I master it?”

 

Never to worry as you’ll get the answer to your question in this post(s).

When you’re using quotation marks, ensure that have these at the back of your mind:

a. Begin every complete statement in a quote with a capital letter. You also set it off the attribution with a comma.

Example:

  1. “Uche’s vehicle has ‘God is good’ written on it,” Cosmos said.

In the example, ‘God is good’ starts with capital letter; it is a complete sentence.

 

b. Insert the quotation mark at the end if a “question mark” is part of the framing sentence.

Example:

  1. “John, ‘Who will bell the cat?’”
  2. “How right is for is it to say that, ‘The end justifies the means’”?

Looking at these two sentences, you’ll observe that the question mark in the first sentence comes before the quotation marks while it comes after it in the second statement.

This is because in this first sentence, ‘who will bell the cat?’ is a framing sentence that comes naturally with a question. The other one does not.

 

c. Use a single quotation mark for a quote inside a quote.

Example:

  1. “No matter what happens, ‘Be the change you seek,’” Michael said.

 

d. Use quotation marks to report someone’s exact words.

Example:

  1. Oshoko said, “It is well!”
  2. “I’m from Texazs,” Mansio said.

 

e. Never use quotation marks when it is not the exact words gotten from a book, speech etc and ensure the comma is inside the quote.

Example:

  1. “It is really sad that Nigeria’s democracy is crawling,” said BBC’s Peter Okwocha.
  2. “Opera Mini has named Chelsea’s wing-back, Victor Moses as its ambassador,” the report read.

 

f. When dividing a quote into two to add a parenthetical, don’t begin the second part with a capital letter.

Example:

  1. “Even little children,” Pope Francis said, “can be saints.”

 

In the concluding part, Friday, I’ll show you other things you need to know to use quotation marks like a pro.

What you think? What’s your challenge with  quotation marks?

 

 

 

 

Emmanuel Egobiambu

A creative writer, editor and public affairs analyst skilled in research.

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