quotation marks (' ')(" ")
Definition - The name for the ' and " symbols when, for example, they are used to indicate that a statement is being quoted.


1. Periods and commas always go inside both double and single quotation marks.

He said, "She said, 'Hurry up.'"

2. Use quotation marks to set off a direct quotation.

"Are you sure you love him?" he asked.

3. Use them to show that a word is being used in a way that is different from how it is normally used.

The President and Miss Monroe went upstairs to "talk" for awhile.

4. Don't use them to set off indirect quotations.

Bob asked Jean if she was sure that she loved Chris.

5. Use single quotation marks for quotations that are within quotations.

She said, "Bob said, 'Do not go there.'"

6. Don't use quotation marks with quoted material that is more than three lines long. Instead, introduce the quote with a colon and leave a blank line above and below the quoted material.
Note: Some style guides say to indent one-half inch on both the left and right margins; others say to indent only the left margin. Take your pick.

7. If you are quoting something that has errors in it and you want to let the reader know that you are aware of the error, insert [sic].

He wrote, "I would rather die than go their [sic]."

8. If the quotation marks contain a complete question, put the question mark inside the quotation marks.

"Are you sure you love him?" he asked.

9. If the question is about quoted statement, put the question mark outside the quotes.

Do you agree with the saying, "All's well that ends well"?

10. Use only a single ending punctuation mark with quotation marks.

Do you agree with the saying, "All's well that ends well"?
In the above example, the period is omitted from within the quotes and the question mark is kept because it is the stronger of the two.

Etymology -
The word quotation derives from the Medieval Latin quotare, to number.

Oxford English Dictionary -
The term's first citation is from 1897:
"I must put play in quotation-marks to express the sarcasm of it."
(Century Mag. 563/1,)

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