Quoted and Reported Speech

by , under Grammar

Quoted speech punctuation rules

Source: Wikimedia Commons

How do you punctuate quoted speech in English?

Rules and Examples

Punctuation rule #1 

Use quotation marks (“) to surround the exact words someone says, asks, or interjects. You can find the quotation mark symbol on the French keyboard on the number 2 key. 

Quoted speech punctuation rules

Punctuation rule #2 

Place exclamation marks (!) or question marks (?) inside your quotation marks (“). 

Example: “Get off!” she spat. “Who me?” he asked. 

Punctuation rule #3 

To join quoted speech to he said or an alternative, use a comma (,). 

INCORRECT: “Hi” she said. 
CORRECT: “Hi,” she said.

Punctuation rule #4 

Each speaker gets his or her own paragraph. Don’t forget to indent paragraphs using the tab key. 

Practice Exercises

  1. Practice Finding Quoted Speech Punctuation Errors
  2. Practice Correcting Quoted Speech Punctuation Errors