Chapter 3-5: Quotation Marks (“ ”)

The exact rules for quotation marks vary greatly from language to language and even from country to country within the English-speaking world. In North American usage, you should place double quotation marks (") before and after directly quoted material and words of dialogue:

One critic ended his glowing review with this superlative: "It is simply the best film ever made about potato farming."

May replied, "This is the last cookie."

Kennedy whispered that "they had an appointment," and then promptly left the room saying "I'm out of here."

You also use quotation marks to set off certain titles, usually those of minor or short works—essays, short stories, short poems, songs, articles in periodicals, etc. For titles of longer works and separate publications, you should use italics (or underlined, if italics are not available). Use italics for titles of books, magazines, periodicals, newspapers, films, plays, long poems, long musical works, and television and radio programs.

Once when I was sick, my father read me a story called "The Happy Flower," which was later made into a movie entitled Flower Child, starring Tiny Tim.

Sometimes, you will use quotation marks to set off words specifically referred to as terms, though some publishers prefer italics:

I know you like the word "unique," but do you really have to use it ten times in one essay?

"Well" is sometimes a noun, sometimes an adverb, sometimes an adjective and sometimes a verb.

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