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Punctuation of embedded quotations 1.

In the following exercise, you will be presented with a sentence containing different mistakes. Your task is to decide which of the mistakes given is relevant to the specific sentence.

1

As the Bible says 'it is better to live on the corner of a roof than to share the house with a nagging wife'. (Proverbs)

a) Incorrect placing of quotation marks.
b) No punctuation before the quote.
c) No reference given.
d) Full stop in the wrong place.
a) Well done. The quotation marks are in the right place. a) The quotation marks are in the right place. b) Well done. This sentence probably needs a comma before the quote begins.b) This sentence probably needs a comma before the quote begins.c) Well done. The reference is given.c) The reference is given.d) Well done. The full stop should come after the reference.d) The full stop should come after the reference.
Check your answer

2

Vincent describes how one of his patients 'always trying to learn new vocabulary, but finds it extremely difficult (Cognitive Psychology, p17).

a) No reference given.
b) Incorrect use of quotation marks.
c) Incorrect placing of full stop.
d) Whole sentence does not make sense on its own.
a) Well done. There is a reference given.a) There is a reference given.b) Well done. The second quotation mark is missing. b) The second quotation mark is missing. c) Well done. The full stop is in the correct place: after the reference. c) The full stop is in the correct place: after the reference. d) Well done. The sentence will have to be reworded to ensure it makes complete sense. d) The sentence will have to be reworded to ensure it makes complete sense.
Check your answer

3

Paul is often critical of the way some wine experts use language that puts the ordinary drinker off, Some of the language in the book is simply inaccessible. There is too much made of "the palate" and the "established vintages" and this simply bewilders some readers.' (Good Wine Clearly Explained, p34).

a) Incorrect punctuation before the quote begins.
b) You cannot have a quote inside a quote.
c) Quotation marks are incorrectly used.
d) Final full stop in the wrong place.
a) Well done. This sentence needs a colon before the quote begins. a) This sentence needs a colon before the quote begins. b) Well done. You can have a quote within a quote as long as it is within double quotation marks. b) You can have a quote within a quote as long as it is within double quotation marks. c) Well done. The first quotation mark is missing. c) The first quotation mark is missing. d) Well done. The final full stop is correctly placed, after the reference. d) The final full stop is correctly placed, after the reference.
Check your answer

4

As she enters the castle, Scarlet wonders, 'Will I ever find the key to the tower? (The Key to the Tower, p78)'

a) Incorrect punctuation before the quotation.
b) Quotation marks used incorrectly.
c) No final full stop.
d) A quote cannot contain a question mark.
a) Well done. This sentence needs a colon before the quotation. a) This sentence needs a colon before the quotation. b) Well done. The second quotation mark is in the wrong place. b) The second quotation mark is in the wrong place. c) Well done. There should be a full stop after the reference. c) There should be a full stop after the reference. d) Well done. A quote can contain a question mark. d) A quote can contain a question mark.
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5

During the stormy night, Terrence decides he must: 'get home.'

a) No need for any punctuation to introduce the quote.
b) The quote is not adding anything substantial.
c) Quotation marks are used incorrectly.
d) No reference given.
a) Correct. The colon used here is incorrect. There is no need for any punctuation. a) The colon used here is incorrect. There is no need for any punctuation. b) Correct. The quoted material does not need to be quoted. b) The quoted material does not need to be quoted. c) Correct. The quotation marks are in the right places. c) The quotation marks are in the right places. d) Correct. If you are going to use a quotation, you need to give a reference. d) If you are going to use a quotation, you need to give a reference.
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6

Dickie says this of the earliest seconds of the existence of the universe: 'Although we know a lot, the first few milliseconds of the existence of the universe are a mystery. In this tiny fraction of a second, all the laws of physics, as we currently understand them, did not seem to apply.' (The Early Universe).

a) The quotation marks are in the wrong place.
b) The punctuation introducing the quotation is incorrect.
c) The final full stop is in the wrong place.
d) It is incorrect to have more than one sentence in an embedded quotation.
a) Correct. The quotation marks are in the right place. a) The quotation marks are in the right place. b) Correct. The punctuation introducing the quotation is correct.b) The punctuation introducing the quotation is correct.c) Correct. The final full stop is in the correct place. c) The final full stop is in the correct place. d) Correct. It is fine to have more than one sentence in an embedded quotation. d) It is fine to have more than one sentence in an embedded quotation.
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Find out more about using quotations.

See a list of other grammar exercises.

Try another exercise about punctuating quotations.