Quotation Mark

Quotation mark

Direct quotation

Quotation marks are placed around a direct quote.

Jane asked, What time does the game begin?

Indirect quotation

Quotation marks are not placed around an indirect quotation.

Jane asked when the game will begin.

Broken quotation

If the quotation in the sentence is interrupted by the person who is speaking, two sets of quotation marks are needed.

As the days passed, said Bob, we wondered if we would ever be rescued.
Time was long as we waited to be rescued, said Bob. Despite that, we did not give up hope.

Note: Because the second quotation consists of two sentences, a period is used after the first sentence. Note, however, its placement is after Bob, not after rescued, because the full sentence contains the speaker.

Quotation within a quotation

When there is a quotation within a quotation, the inner quotation has single quotation marks around it.

As we waited to be rescued, said Bob, I heard a voice in a dream say You will be safe before I awoke.

If the quotation within a quotation is at the end of the sentence, it will look like this.

As we waited to be rescued, said Bob, I heard a voice in a dream say You will be safe.

Partial quotation

Occasionally, you will paraphrase (summarize in your own words) what someone said, but you want to quote a phrase from his comments. Therefore, only the quoted part is enclosed in quotation marks.

These views were echoed by John Brown, the vice-president of marketing, who said that the need for an affordable escape is driving movie theatre attendance.

Placement of quotation marks

  • An opening quotation mark goes at the beginning of the quotation.
  • A closing quotation mark goes at the end of the quotation after the punctuation mark (in most cases).


Quotation marks are used to enclose titles of poems, chapters of books, and other works that are part of a whole book.

Suzanne has read the poem Under a Telephone Pole by Carl Sandburg many times.
Henry liked the chapter Language and Sound in his textbook because it dealt with alliteration and onomatopoeia.

Note: Titles of books are italicized.

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