Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quotation Confusion

I've noticed a lot of folks are confused about quotation marks when it comes to a new paragraph spoken by the same person.  Here's an easy way to remember the rule.  If one person is talking, stops, and then starts talking on a different subject, you have a quotation mark at both starts, but not at the stop in between.  Example:

   His words caught her off guard.  She was stunned, flattered, confused, and lusting simultaneously. She whispered, "Thank you.
   "Um, don't you need to get to a phone?"
   "Yes, I do," he replied.

The paragraph separates the two ideas, but the lack of the closed quotation shows that the same person is still speaking.

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