What Are Three Rules for Using Quotation Marks?


Quick Answer

Three rules for using quotation marks include using them to set off direct quotations, using them when referring to titles, and leaving a space between single quotation marks and double quotation marks when used next to one another. Some word processors automatically leave space between single and double quotation marks.

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Full Answer

Quotation marks around a quotation mean that the speaker being referred to is saying those specific words exactly as written. It is incorrect to use quotation marks for speech that has been changed, summarized or altered for the speaker's perspective.

Generally, quotation marks can be used for titles of magazines, books, films, songs, plays, poems and individual articles. Some style guides and academic institutions prefer to use italics for titles.

When using single and double quotation marks together, such as when a speaker is quoting another speaker, the first speaker's words need to be contained within the double quotation marks. The second speaker's dialogue is to be contained within single quotation marks. If the first speaker quotes the second speaker and then stops speaking, there must be a single space between the single quotation mark and the double quotation mark. It is incorrect to use single quotation marks for any other purpose.

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