Easy Learning English

Quotation marks (‘ ’) or (“ ”) - Easy Learning Grammar

Direct speech

Direct speech gives the actual words that a speaker used. It is common in novels and other writing where the actual words of a speaker are quoted (see Reporting speech).The words spoken are enclosed in single or double quotation marks.
  • ‘Have you been to the new shopping precinct yet?’ enquired Shona.

  • “I’ve already seen it,” John replied.
  • The comma comes inside the quotation marks, unless the reporting verb is positioned inside a reported sentence that itself does not require a comma.
  • There is’, Monica said, ‘nothing we can do about it.’

Other uses

Single quotation marks are sometimes used:
  • to draw attention to a word
  • The word ‘book’ can be used as a noun or a verb.
  • to indicate an unusual use of a word
  • She pointed out that websites used for internet voting could be ‘spoofed’.
  • to suggest that the writer want to be distanced from a word.
  • I don’t agree with this ‘mercy killing’ business.
  • Note that the full stop comes after the quotation marks in such cases.

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