Quite often we write something that somebody has said or write conversational speech in fiction novels. This speech is quoted by the use of the punctuation mark “. The ” is known as a speech mark. A speech mark is used twice for each section of a spoken quote. Once at the beginning and once at the end i.e. “The spoken sentence.“
The punctuation mark “ is used at the start of the spoken sentence, or sentences and the same punctuation mark is used again to denote the end of the spoken text.
John said “The train is running late today.”
Bill said to John “We were told to expect delays today. This is because there are engineers working on the railway near Chicago. Should we try to catch an earlier train tomorrow?”
Here you can see that no matter the number of words or sentences, the speech mars are used at the beginning and end of the whole quoted speech. Not at the end of every sentence.
If several people are talking, new speech marks must be used for each exchange i.e. for each person speaking at any one time, not used only at the start and end of the full conversation.
Note that all the punctuation belonging to the speech must be contained within the speech marks. If the written sentence in the document requires additional punctuation, for example, a full stop, it should come after the speech marks because it does not directly relate to what was spoken.
When writing, speech marks are often shaped in a similar way to 66 at the beginning of the spoken segment and 99 at the end. Quite often, when typed, the text written does not distinguish these differences and instead uses the same ” shape at both ends. This is an accepted practice.
Note that speech marks (” “) and quotation marks (‘ ‘) are not the same. ” means that the quotation is a directly spoken quote, where ‘ is used to quote a third party reference that may not be spoken.
For example, the punctuation mark ‘ can be used to show a directly referenced sentence, such as:
The Cambridge Dictionary defines the word demystify as ‘to make something easier to understand’.
This is differnet to a sentance such as:
John said “I do not know the meaning of the word demystify. Please can you explain it to me.’.
We hope that you have found this article that attempts to help you understand speech marks better a useful read. There is more information about other types of punctuation, spelling, and grammar in the menu at the top of this page.
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