Quotation Marks Part Two

This is the second of three pages dealing with quotation marks. Know these
rules and include them in your writing.

  • Use a question mark or an exclamation mark within the closing quotation
    mark if the question mark or the exclamation mark is part of the
    quotation.

    ‘‘Is this the correct tool?’’ the assistant asked the machinist.
    The soldier screamed to his comrade, ‘‘Move away now!’’

    Note: If a question mark or an exclamation mark is a part of the whole
    sentence (and not just a part of the direct quotation), place the mark
    outside the quotation marks.

    Did Mr. Boland say, ‘‘You have only two choices left’’? (The entire
    sentence, not the quotation, is a question.)

    I was so ecstatic when Jenny said, ‘‘You are our choice for class rep’’!
    (The entire sentence, not the quotation, is the exclamation.)

  • Use a comma, exclamation mark, or question mark to separate the direct
    quotation from the rest of the sentence. A period cannot do the same.

    ‘‘Please help me lift this rug,’’ Mom requested Roberta.
    ‘‘This is absolutely awesome!’’ the captain told her crew.
    ‘‘Will it be sunny tomorrow?’’ the news anchor asked her staff.

  • Place colons and semicolons outside the closing quotation mark.
    There are two main characters in O. Henry’s story ‘‘The Gift of the
    Magi’’: Jim and Della.

    Karen remarked, ‘‘These two cars are full of supplies for the picnic’’;
    only then did we realize that there was no room for any additional
    passengers.