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Note 16 – Inverted commas (Part 2)

For the background to my writing challenge, please read my first blog by clicking the following link –  If you would prefer to dive straight into note 16, then please read on…

You may have noticed that there hasn’t been a part 2 to Note 13 Inverted Commas (part1) where I blogged about when to use them.  I have no excuse other than I got carried away with other things.  As mentioned in note 13, inverted commas (also known as speech marks, quotation marks or quotes) are punctuation marks which separate out a set of words from the main text.  Today I will explain the different reasons for using them. 

In John Seeley’s book Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation, he gives four reasons why we would use inverted commas.  They are listed below along with my own examples:

1. In direct speech

Used to show that someone is talking.  For example:

“That wasn’t a very good party” said Samantha.

2. To display quotes

A direct quote out of a book, text etc.  For example:  

John Seeley explains that “punctuation marks are used to separate a group of words from the rest of the text”.  This shows the exact text used.

3. Where it’s not your idea 

You put inverted commas around a word or group of  words that you would not normally say or that someone else has said. For example:

As a mum we have to learn how to ‘juggle’ everything really well.

4. Titles

Where you use a title within your work (as I did before point 1 above and to introduce point 5 below) you can use quotes before and after.  I used itatics because it’s more common in printed work.

Bernard C. Lamb’s The Queen’s English shows another use use:

5. Slang/Foreign expressions

You can use inverted commas around slang words or words out of context.  For example:

She followed me up the ‘apples and pears’

You will notice that I have used  mix of ‘single’ and “double” inverted commas.  You will find more about when to use them in my previous note 13.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s blog.  I’ve got to go and sand down some skirting boards now ready for painting.

Until tomorrow…



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Twitter: @madeirasandra  and  @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

Bernard C. Lamb The Queen’s English (2010), UK

John Seeley, Oxford A-Z of Grammar & Punctuation


About Sandra Madeira

I am a full-time working mum with a passion for writing and inspiring others. Subjects I tend to blog about are life skills, parenting, decluttering, worklife balance, etc. At the moment I am on a decluttering mission creating space in my house, garden and mind. I have challenged myself to do at least ten minutes a day and write about it. Have a good day! Sandra Freelance Writer


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