Tag Archives: quotation marks

Bryce Harper

Yesterday I did some griping about the apostrophes in The Washington Post. Today – in fairness – I’m going to compliment the newspaper for its careful handling of quotation marks.

Let’s look at a sentence from a recent article about Bryce Harper, a right fielder for the Washington Nationals who’s a force to be reckoned with in baseball.

Here’s the sentence that impressed me:

“There were certain times when I hit a ball to the track last year, and I think back and I’m like, ‘That should have been like three rows deep,’ ” Harper said.

Wow.

Did you notice that there’s a quotation inside Harper’s quotation? (Think of those Russian nesting dolls – it will help.) Harper quoted himself saying, “That should have been like three rows deep.” So we have a quotation nested inside another quotation.

When you’re quoting someone’s exact words, you use double quotation marks, “like this.” If there’s another quotation inside – what Harper did – you use single quotation marks, ‘like this.’ (The British call them “inverted commas.”)

Here’s Harper’s statement again. Take a look at the quotation marks to see how they’re done. (Did you notice that the comma is placed inside the quotation marks? Thank you, Washington Post!)

“There were certain times when I hit a ball to the track last year, and I think back and I’m like, ‘That should have been like three rows deep,’ ” Harper said.

You can learn more about quotation marks here. (It’s easy! Please, please – if you’re an American writing for other Americans, the commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks. No exceptions. None.)

                  Bryce Harper

 

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