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Quotation Marks – Rules and Uses

Grade 7
Aug 29, 2022

Quotation Marks  

Definition: Quotation marks are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The team consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may not be the same character. 

Uses of Quotation Marks:  

  • We use quotation marks with direct quotes, titles of specific works, to imply alternate meanings, and write words as words. 
  • Block quotations are not suited with quotation marks. 
  • The quoted text is capitalized if you’re citing a complete sentence and not capitalized if you’re quoting a fragment. 

When to use quotation marks 

Quotation marks are used when you are using someone else’s words in your writing. If you want to write about something you heard your friend say, you could do it like this: 

Example: John said, “I hate when it’s cool outside.” 

You can also write about the same thing without quotation marks, with a couple of changes. 

Example: John said he hated it when it was cool outside. 

  • The first sentence contains a direct quote, that is, a quote in which you report the exact words John used. 
  • The second sentence contains an indirect extract, a paraphrased version of what was said. 

Quotation marks are only used with direct quotes:  

This rule isn’t just for speech. You should still put the quote within quotation marks if you’re quoting a written source unless you plan to paraphrase it. 

Rules for using quotation marks: 

The first rule for using quotations is that they have to be closed once they’re opened. The reader needs to know where the quote starts and ends. But that’s an easy one. What about some trickier quotation mark rules? 

Quotation marks and other punctuation: 

Do punctuation marks go inside or outside quotation marks? This question mainly refers to punctuation marks — punctuation marks that introduce a quote are always placed outside quotation marks. 

Punctuation at the end of a sentence is a whole different story. In the United States, the rule of thumb is that commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, and colons and semicolons (dashes as well) go outside: 


  • “There was a storm last night,” Henry said. 
  • Thomas, however, didn’t believe him. “I’m not sure that’s exactly what happened.” 
Quotation Marks


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