Teaching Quotation Marks

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When teaching quotation marks, explains that quotations are most frequently used around quoted material, certain types of titles and words when the subject is discussing a specific word. Put commas and periods inside of quotations, but keep colons and semicolons outside of the quotes with information from a writer and English tutor in this free video on grammar and punctuation.

Part of the Video Series: Grammar & Punctuation
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm here to teach you about, how to make quotation marks. One of the most common ways is around quoted material. So, if you're quoting exact words that someone has said or written, you use quotation marks. "Don't be silly,” said Sarah. You'd also use quotation marks around certain types of titles. Not book titles but, chapters in books, poems songs, that sort of thing. For example, the song “Roxanne" by The Police. You'd also use quotation marks around words, if you're talking about those words. So, for example, he often uses the word plethora, but I don't think he knows what it means. So, when it comes to using other punctuation with quotation marks, there are a couple of pretty straight forward rules. When you're using comma's or periods, those are going to go inside the quotation marks. So, "Stop," he said, and you put the comma inside. With colons, or semicolons, those are going to go on the outside. So, he said, "I'll just have one"; however, he really wanted two. And with question marks, and exclamation marks, those can go either way, and what that depends on, is whether there a part of the quoted material, or the sentence as a whole. So, in this case, "did you hear that?" she asked. Question is part of the quote, vs. did you hear him say, "the meeting starts at two"? The meeting starts at two, isn't a question. But, larger sentence, did you hear him say that. That is a question, so you put a question mark outside of the quotation marks.


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