What Are Quotations? (with Examples)

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What Are Quotations? (with Examples)

A quotation is a group of words which are repeated by someone other than the original author or writer.

There are two types of quotation:

A Direct Quotation . A direct quotation is an exact copy of the original. A direct quotation is shown by placing it between quotation marks.

An Indirect Quotation An indirect quotation is close copy of the original, but it is paraphrased to fit its surroundings. An indirect quotation does not have quotation marks.

Examples of Direct Quotations

Below are some examples of direct quotations. Remember, direct quotations are exact copies of the original.
  • "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." (Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826)
  • "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." (Napoleon Bonaparte, 1769-1821)

Examples of Indirect Quotations

Below are some examples of indirect quotations. Remember, these have been paraphrased.
  • Thomas Jefferson once said that the harder he worked, the more luck he seemed to have.
  • According to Napoleon, you should never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

Punctuation before a Quotation

When introducing a quotation with an expression like He said or She claimed, you can use a comma, a colon, or nothing. It depends on your desired flow of text. You can let your instincts guide you. For example:
  • Sherlock Holmes turned to Watson and said: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
  • (Colon used)
  • Tillman claimed, "The world is my lobster."
  • (Comma used)
  • He looked up and said "D'oh!"
  • (Nothing used)
There is a useful guideline which advises to use a comma for quotations of fewer than seven words and a colon for longer quotations.