When working with quotation marks (‘‘ ’’), follow these rules. This is the first
of three pages about quotation marks.
The lifeguard told the swimmers, ‘‘Please move down between the
Note: Use a comma to separate the speaker’s exact words from the sentence’s
‘‘Please move down between the green flags,’’ the lifeguard told the
Note: You do not have to use quotation marks around an indirect quotation.
The lifeguard told the beachgoers to move between the green flags if
they wanted to go into the water.
Note: A direct quotation usually begins with a capital letter. If the quotation
is not in its entirety, it often begins with a lowercase letter.
Mikki believes that ‘‘honesty is its own reward.’’
because the speaker is identified, the second part begins with a
‘‘Since the flowers are starting to bloom,’’ said Chris, ‘‘we should not
step into the garden.’’
Note: If the second part of a direct quotation is a complete sentence,
start that part with a capital letter. Insert a period after the unquoted
‘‘This is beautiful!’’ responded Mrs. Alsager. ‘‘Keep it going!’’
Note: If a person’s exact words are more than a single sentence and are
not divided, use only a single set of quotation marks.
‘‘Waves gently lapped the shore. Children played in the sand,’’ the