Virginia has been a university English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier. The Goal in Punctuating When you write a conversation, your most important goal is making sure your reader understands who is talking.
This is a topic that has almost certainly confused each and every one of us in our reading and writing at some point or another. When do we use single quotes? Where does the punctuation go in single quotes?
The different uses of single vs. Putting a Quote Within a Quote When you have a quotation that is inside of another quotation it is called a nested quotation. Nested quotes follow a hierarchical structure of alternating between double quotation marks and single quotation marks.
In marking such quotations, American and English writers and editors have developed different conventions, and, therefore, have different rules for when to use single quotes.
Quotes In American English If you are a writer in America, or your audience is primarily American, here are the basic rules of putting quotes within quotes. Double quotation marks are used for the first quotation.
Single quotation marks are used for a quotation within a quotation. Double marks are used for a further quotation inside that, etc.
Also, notice that the periods are placed inside the single quotes. The American rule is that periods always go inside the quotation marks more on that below.
If you find yourself writing a quote within a quote within a quote, i. Three levels of quotations are a bit much for the reader to make sense of. If, however, a sentence rework is impossible, just add another level of hierarchy. Here are the basic rules of putting quotes within quotes in British English.
Single quotation marks are used for the first quotation. Double quotation marks are used for a quotation within a quotation. Single marks are used for a further quotation inside that, etc.
The secondary quotes now have double quotations around them. Also, the periods are outside of the closing quotation mark. In a quotation, is the period before or after quotes? As with the use of single and double quotation marks, the punctuation practices vary across American and British English.
Punctuation in American English In American English, periods and commas are placed within the closing quotation mark, whether or not the punctuation is actually a part of the quoted matter. The dash, semicolon, question mark, and the exclamation point go within the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only.
They go outside when they apply to the whole sentence. Punctuation in British English In British English, periods and commas are placed outside of the closing quotation mark, unless these marks form part of the quotation itself. With respect to the dash, semicolon, question mark, and exclamation point, the American English and British English practice is the same.
These marks go inside the quotation marks when they apply to the quoted material only.
Summary I hope this helps anyone wondering how to quote a quote and when to use single quotes. If you are an American writer, you can ignore the British English sections of this post. Similarly, if you are a British writer, you can ignore the American English sections on punctuation and style.
In this post, we covered using quotation marks: Here are the three takeaway points. When you put a quote inside a quote, you alternate between double and single quotation marks. In American English, you start with double quotation marks, and then single quotation marks.
In British English, you start with single quotation marks, and then double quotation marks.May 18, · Quotation marks go around speech starting and stopping. If same person is speaking, you don't need to start a new paragraph. Here is an example with the dialogue underlined:Reviews: Jan 26, · 4.
Using a favorite quotation from an essay or book you have read in the last three years as a starting point, tell us about an event or experience that helped you define one of your values or changed how you approach the world.
Please write the quotation at the beginning of your essay. Jul 27, · How to Write a Speech. You may find that you are expected to speak at a public gathering or social event, and being prepared to speak at these occasions requires planning and preparing the text. Even looking around the room will be counted as eye contact.
Warnings. Don't give a lengthy and boring speech. Otherwise people will 81%(31). We use quotation marks with direct quotes, with titles of certain works, to imply alternate meanings, and to write words as words. This rule isn’t just for speech. If you’re quoting a written source, you should still put the quote between quotation marks unless you plan to paraphrase it.
This can happen, too. Say you want to write a. Titles: Underline, Italics, or Quotations? (printable version here) When writing about other works, it's hard to decide when to underline (or place in italics) a title and when to place it in double quotations.
How to quote a source Additional resources These materials will help you avoid plagiarism by teaching you how to properly integrate information from .