quotation marks

quotation marks
quotation marks
1. The main use of quotation marks (also called inverted commas) is to indicate direct speech and quotations. In writing it is common to use double quotation marks (“ ”), and in printing practice varies between the double and single style (‘’). Single marks are commonly associated with British practice (as in the Oxford and Cambridge styles) and double marks with American practice (as in the Chicago style), but the distinction in usage is not always so clear-cut.
2. The main rules of practice in BrE follow, with indications of any variant practice in AmE:
a) In direct speech and quotations, the closing quotation mark normally comes after a final full stop: She said, ‘I have something to ask you.’ It should come after any other punctuation mark (such as an exclamation mark) which is part of the matter being quoted: They shouted, ‘Watch out!’ (the final full stop is omitted after an exclamation mark in this position) / Did I hear you say ‘Go away!’?.
b) When the quoted speech is interrupted by a reporting verb such as say, shout, etc., the punctuation that divides the sentence is put inside the quotation marks: ‘Go away,’ he said, ‘and don't ever come back.’
c) If a quoted word or phrase comes at the end of a sentence or coincides with a comma, the punctuation that belongs to the sentence as a whole is placed outside the quotation marks: What is a ‘gigabyte’? / No one should ‘follow a multitude to do evil’, as the Scripture says. In AmE, however, it is usual to place quotation marks outside the sentence punctuation (and note the more characteristic double quotation marks): No one should “follow a multitude to do evil,” as the Scripture says.
d) When a quotation occurs within a quotation, the inner quotation is put in double quotation marks if the main quotation is in single marks (or vice versa, especially in American practice): BrE ‘Have you any idea,’ he asked, ‘what a “gigabyte” is?’ / AmE “Have you any idea,” he asked, “what a ‘gigabyte’ is?”.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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