Quick Links: 5 Sentences Demonstrating Whether to Capitalize and Punctuate Quotations

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Sometimes when you haven’t thought about something for a long time you don’t quite remember it the way you should. So today we bring you the Daily Writing Tips‘ article on capitalization within quotations.

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5 Sentences Demonstrating Whether to Capitalize and Punctuate Quotations

By Mark Nichol

Because everyone can use a refresher!

Because everyone can use a refresher!

When the syntax of a sentence containing a quotation is not straightforward, it can be difficult to determine whether the first word should be capitalized and which punctuation marks, if any, should attend the quotation. The following sentences illustrate some of the pitfalls, and discussions and revisions point to their solutions.

1. After years of finger-pointing, Smith says “enough is enough” and is filing suit against Jones.

The statement may seem insignificant, but it is a complete sentence and should be treated as one; it should also be preceded by a comma following the attribution (“Smith says”): “After years of finger-pointing, Smith says, “Enough is enough” and is filing suit against Jones. (Note, too, that no punctuation follows the quotation, because what follows is not an independent clause; it would be one if it included a noun or pronoun after and: “After years of finger-pointing, Smith says, “Enough is enough,” and he is filing suit against Jones.”)

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