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Quotation Mark (“”) | Correct Uses & Examples

To make a speech more profound and highlight the titles all while indicating the direct speech, a special set of inverted commas are used which are otherwise known as quotation marks. In some instances, they are also referred to as speech marks because they illuminate direct speech by enclosing them by setting off certain words or phrases for emphasis or special treatment. 

The purpose of quotation marks is that they ensure a text stands out from its surrounding text, making it look unique and have value through emphasis. Keep in mind that whether it is articles, poems, or chapters, this punctuation mark is abundantly used in English, however, quotation marks or speech marks themselves are usually written in two formats i.e. double quotation marks (“”) and single quotation marks (‘ ‘). In American English, double quotation marks are predominantly used, while British English tends to favor single quotation marks. However, both forms are acceptable as long as consistency is maintained within a given text.

Quotation Marks: What Are Its Uses in English?

The range of this unique speech mark is vast, in fact, Quotation marks are specially used in articles, poems, passages, short stories, songs, and episode titles of TV shows, to set them apart from the surrounding text and indicate that they are not the speaker’s own words.

Quoting Text from External Sources

In order to illuminate external sources whether it’s taken from a book, article, or speech, quotation marks play a huge role in this area, in fact, you could say it is a tool that is used for referencing writing material that may or may not belong to you but you want to incorporate it in your writing piece. With the use of speech marks or quotation marks, proper citation cannot be offered to the original source. Here’s an example:

The article stated, “The economy is expected to improve next year.”

While quotation text or speeches within the flow of your sentence is extremely crucial to support your writing material, keep in mind that citation must be done within bounds that don’t breach or violate copyright laws and plagiarism regulations. In other words, once you enclose a text or speech within quotation marks that don’t belong to you, make sure you tag the original author or the book that is being taken from so that it doesn’t constitute plagiarism

Quotation For Direct Speeches

If you have read comics or fiction novels from the ’90s you must have already been familiar with this use case where the character speech is often enclosed in quotation marks.

Character 1: “Hey, look at this cool rock I found!”

Character 2: (with angry expression): “I told you not to touch my stuff!”

These quotation marks could either be portrayed in thought bubbles or speech balloons that are usually drawn on top of the character. However, there are some instances where instead of these visual cues, a character emphasizing something important has to be simply enclosed with quotation or speech marks that look like inverted commas.

Quotation for Short Titles

Quotation marks excel the most in short titles because they provide value and uniqueness to the words that are enclosed, making the title seem much more profound especially when it is said in a speech or a unit of sentence.

Here are a couple of instances explaining how a quotation glorifies a short title for a movie, book, or episode title.

The ending of Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder” left me speechless.

I found the author’s argument in “The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health” very convincing.

Word Emphasizer

While the above-mentioned methods for a phrase or word encasement might relate to professional writing, word emphasizer use case correlates to casual writing pieces where it would highlight irony, sarcasm, doubt, or even indicate the probability of double meaning.

Some the examples of word emphasis are,

  • “That was a ‘great’ idea,” she said, rolling her eyes after the plan backfired spectacularly. (The quoted word carries the opposite meaning of its literal sense)
  • “Of course, I ‘love’ doing extra work on the weekend,” he muttered under his breath, clearly annoyed. (The quoted word expresses the opposite of the speaker’s true feelings)
  • He told his son, “Always ‘fight’ for what you believe in.” (The quoted word can be interpreted both literally and metaphorically)
  • The product slogan stated, “‘Guaranteed Satisfaction’ (not really),” employing “quotation marks” to create a sense of humor and skepticism.
  • The headline read, “‘Breaking News’: Local Hero Saves the Day,” highlighting the importance of the news with “quotation marks” for dramatic effect.

How Should a Quotation mark be used along with another punctuation mark?

If a sentence is complete and requires a full stop or period, it should be used with the sentence and enclosed inside the quotation mark. However, if the quoted text is part of a larger sentence, the punctuation mark should be placed outside the closing quotation marks. 

Here is an example of how complete sentences or thoughts with periods would look like

Complete sentence: She said, “I love you.”

On the other hand, a more complex sentence with a question mark would look something like this.

Part of a larger sentence: He asked, “Can you pass me the salt”?

Should I use quotations in dialogue with multiple paragraphs?

Yes indeed, however, the catch here is that you are required to start a new paragraph, especially during direct speeches where each character statement or thought is being quoted to make the sentence more clear and more concise for the reader. Mixing of statements in the same paragraph with quotations could drastically hurt the readability and even raise confusion especially if it’s fiction.

Where can single quotation marks be used instead of double quotation marks?

There are some instances where you could use Single quotation marks such as enclosing a quotation within a quotation. For example:

John said, “Mary told me, ‘I can’t make it to the party tonight.'”

As you can see, the words “Mary told me” have double quotations which indicates these are the quotations that are present outside while enclosing the unit of sentence on the inside which requires a single quotation.

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