All You Need To Know About Quotation Marks

Everything started with… “Cogito ergo sum” – Descartes

Translated into English this means I think; therefore, I am.

This quote made me think… and think… and finally brought to my attention a personal extended form.

My “problem” is… “I think. What do I think? Wherefore, what am I?” ~ M.C. Simon

Well… it seems that I am a Writer. 🙂

Being a writer, I need to write. By writing, I hope to touch people’s hearts and fill their needs. How can I touch their hearts? By writing on paper… words arising from my heart. You can touch people’s hearts only if you open your heart to them.

However, being a writer… you need also to use a coherent language. You cannot speak Chinese to a Dutch person and think that he will understand your French dialect. This is obvious.

But… even if you speak in English to an English speaker, you still need to respect some rules; Grammar rules. This… just because… grammar is so tricky that… many problems would never exist if we used a correct grammatical expression. You already know the classical example of “Let’s eat Grandma“.

Therefore, I decided to continue the series of grammar articles… articles that will bring to your attention some of these rules. No… I don’t pretend to know all of them so perfectly. But… I have a friend, a very loyal friend called Grammarly. This friend is always here on my screen and helps me choose the best variant for any question I have about the mentioned aspect of communication.

The #1 Writing Tool

And… if I started this article with a quote… let’s continue the series with the Quotation Marks. I used to think that I knew everything about quotation marks, but… one day I asked Grammarly and… wow… you would never guess how many rules can be applied to this… let’s say… “simple marks”.

“Quotation marks – or quotes or inverted commas – are the things put around words to show that other people have said them. They show things that have been (or will be) said in another place or another time, marking them as something which requires special attention.

Quotation marks come in singles (‘___’) or doubles (“___”), and they always come in sets of two. In fiction, quotation marks are quite common as they go around all dialogue; in non-fiction they should be judiciously used around quotes to prove a point or support a thesis.” ~ Grammarly


Use of Quotation Marks

Grammarly Lovers

  • Quotation marks are marks used for highlighting the words that a person said.

  • They can be double or single and are perfectly interchangeable.

  • Quotation marks always come in pairs; the first one “opens” and the second “close” the text. Points to always. 🙂

  • The punctuation and the capitals used inside quotation marks must be applied to the quote and doesn’t depend on the whole text outside the quotation marks.

  • Double quotation marks (“…”) are used in many countries with English speakers. If you use the double quotation marks as a standard, use the single quotation marks when you quote inside the main quote.

  • Single quotation marks (‘…’) are used applying interchangeable rules with double quotation marks. Don’t use a set of single quotation marks inside the main set.

  • Direct quotation is the quote showing what other person said. For this quote, you will always use the quotation marks.

  • Indirect quotation is the situation when you rephrase what someone else said. You don’t need quotation marks for this.

  • Quotation within a quotation is not a problem if you use sets of single and double quotation marks. If you really need to use quotation marks, you can put in quotes the titles of shorter pieces of work: plays, poems, articles, chapters or subchapters of a book, songs, T.V. episodes, etc. For longer books (novels or manuals) underline the title.

  • Quotation marks are also used for emphasis specific to words or terms. Usually, this means that the author doesn’t agree with that term.

  • Quotation marks with other punctuations differs from country to country. If you are not sure about punctuation, consult a style guide. For example, in American English,

    • the punctuation that comes with the quote stays inside the quote.

    • if you end the sentence with a quote that ends with a period, exclamation mark or question mark, there is no need for another punctuation mark after the quote.

    • if the quote is only a part of a sentence, you will need to add your punctuation final mark, outside the quote.

    • final commas and semicolons usually go out the quotation mark.

  • Unnecessary quotation marks.

    • Don’t use quotation marks if no one said those words.

    • Don’t use quotation marks for emphasis. Rather use italics, underlined or bold characters.

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Using Grammarly, I fell in love with this tool so much, that one day I became their affiliate. I did so because I am proud to promote what I believe in.

And YES, you figured it out… if you click on and sign up with Grammarly, I will receive a commission. Of course… you can go to their website directly, skipping my affiliate link. That’s fine too. I may not receive my share, but at least I will be happy that someone out there, on this planet, will also take advantage of this incredible tool for better writing.

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