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Note 159 – Speech lasting more than one paragraph

Yesterday, someone asked me why publishers only put quotation marks at the beginning of each paragraph when the speech goes on for more than one. I’ve been researching this today.

According to Bernard C Lamb in his book The Queen’s English, he explains that “in quoted speech lasting more than one paragraph, there is an initial quotation mark and one at the beginning of each subsequent paragraph to indicate that the speech continues, but no quotation mark at the end of each paragraph”. The reason for this is because the speech does not finish until the final closing quotation mark.

Here is an example:
     From a very young age I have wanted to write.  I have kept diaries and journals since the age of four; however, I never had anything published until a few years ago and they were only letters and the odd write up in magazines.
     This year I decided that in order to improve my writing skills and be a more confident write, I would start a blog.  The plan was to learn something new about writing each day for a year and blog about it to teach others.
     It’s been a real eye opener and has already led to many things directly and indirectly.  This includes having a publisher interested in my book and also having this blog featured in Writing Magazine.

Explaination: Notice how each paragraph begins with quotation marks, but only the last paragraph ends with quotation marks. 

This blog forms part of my writing challenge. Don’t forget that you can subscribe to receive my daily blogs by email so that you don’t miss any. Just click ‘sign me up’ on the home page. Alternatively you can follow my blogs on Twitter!/madeirasandra or my ‘Tips and LuxuriesFacebook page. Requests for future blogs (punctuation/grammar/writing tips) are always welcome.

Until tomorrow…


My writing challenge

My other blog

My website: (includes the introduction to my upcoming book ‘A Gift for Stressed and Busy Parents’)

Twitter: @madeirasandra and @tipsandluxuries

Reference list:

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


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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