Quotation Marks

Quotation marks are like flares that are placed in front of and behind a broken-down vehicle; they alert you that there's something different about the words inside of them.

  1. Use quotation marks at the beginning and end of the exact words of another speaker or writer. Remember to use correct punctuation when using quotations:
    • commas and periods always go inside the end quotation mark
    • question marks and exclamation points go inside the end quotation mark, when they are part of the quotation as a whole
    • dashes, colons, and semi-colons never go inside the end quotation mark
    • use a single quote for a quote within a quote
  2. Use quotation marks to indicate titles of shorter works:
    • a poem
    • a song title
    • a short story or a chapter title of a longer work
    • a title of a newspaper article or magazine article
    • titles of television programs or radio programs

    Note: Underline or italicize titles of longer works (books, plays, films, title of a newspaper or a magazine).

  3. Use quotation marks to emphasize words.

    The interior decorator called the color "vermilion," but to me it screamed "fire-engine red."

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