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Question and Quotation Marks, Exclamation Points
My last article on punctuation is on question marks, exclamation points, and quotation marks. There aren’t a whole lot of rules to learn about their usage, but my articles on punctuation would not be complete unless I covered those rules as well.
It is easy to know when you need to use a question mark. Use one after a direct question.
What is your name?
When a sentence is half direct statement and half question, you also use one.
You do love me, don’t you?
An exclamation point is used to show shock, emphasis, or surprise.
The murders were committed by old Mrs. Frobisher!
During high school, Spanish was the foreign language that I chose to take. I couldn’t carry on a conversation in Spanish, but there is one thing I definitely remember about the language - how question marks and exclamation points are used.
Some languages, such as Spanish, use opening and closing question marks and exclamation points. An inverted or upside-down question mark or exclamation point is used at the beginning of the question or sentence and a regular one at the end.
¿Dónde está mi coche? (Where is my car?)
Vi la película la noche pasada. ¡Qué susto! (I saw the movie last night. What a fright!)
There are single quotes and double quotes. Periods and commas always go inside the quotes, even single quotes.
Question marks and quotation marks - here it gets just a little bit tricky, but it is logical. If the question mark is at the end of a question, then the question mark is inside the quotation marks.
Herman looked deep into Ada’s eyes and asked, “Will you be my wife?”
When there is a phrase or saying that is already enclosed in quotation marks, the question mark lands outside the quotation marks.
Do you understand the phrase, “Pigs in a poke”?
Quotation marks can also be used around titles.
“A Tale of Two Cities” was written by Charles Dickens.
Single quotation marks are used for quotes within quotes.
She stated, “Albert said, ‘You are going to do exactly as I say.’ “
The period goes inside all of the quotation marks.
If you would like to do a more in-depth study on any of the punctuation marks, I recommend grammarbook.com. There is a link to this site provided below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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