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The Complete Guide To Using Quotation Marks Without Looking Like An Idiot

27 JAN 2014

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Our language needs quotation marks. Without them, we couldn’t know who said what to whom or even what they meant.

Unfortunately, using them can prove tricky. Quotations marks appear in both double and single form with other punctuation placed inside or outside of them depending on the situation.

We’ve broken down what you need to know to use them correctly in American English.

The Uses

Direct quotes require quotation marks. If you want to write exactly what someone said or wrote, you’ll need to use double quotations marks to offset the sentence or phrase.

Example: My brother said, “We should go to the liquor store and buy some Scotch.”

Note: If a full paragraph of quoted material is followed by more quoted material, don’t place a quotation mark at the end of the paragraph. Do, however, begin the next paragraph with a quotation mark.

Some titles require quotation marks. Many grammar guides — including the Associated Press Stylebook, which BI follows — list every title you need to surround with quotation marks. But we prefer a simple guideline for general writing: If the creative work exists inside a larger creative work, use quotes.

For example, you’d place an essay featured in a book within double quotation marks, while the book’s title simply requires italics. A single track on a CD also needs quotation marks, as would an episode in a TV show or an article in a newspaper or magazine.

Read full article: Business Insider