Quotations Exercise (658)

Revise each sentence to indicate correct use of quotation marks and proper treatment of the quotations themselves.

Answers and Explanations

1.
Original: ‘Frozen’s’ Idina Menzel gets a warm reception on her tour.
Correct : Idina Menzel, star of ‘Frozen,’ gets a warm reception on her tour.

This sentence, appearing as a headline on one of many websites that use single quotation marks to enclose the titles of films, plays, television programs, and the like, creates confusion. Is the second mark a close quotation mark, and the third mark is a possessive apostrophe erroneously placed after the possessive letter "s" rather than before it?

2.
Original: Earlier this month, the governor signed into law the "Pastor Protection Act."
Correct : Earlier this month, the governor signed into law the Pastor Protection Act.

Proper nouns are generally not enclosed in quotation marks; exceptions are titles of certain compositions, such as songs and short stories, as well as nicknames when inserted within a person’s official name.

3.
Original: You might be wondering, how do plants know when it’s the right time to flower?
Correct : You might be wondering, "How do plants know when it’s the right time to flower?"

When a hypothetical question is posed within a sentence, it can be treated as an actual quotation, with quotation marks, in which case it must be set off by punctuation. (An exception is a sentence framed like "He asked the question "How do plants know when it’s the right time to flower?’" where the extraneous phrase "the question" can be deleted, in which case a comma should follow "asked.")

4.
Original: Still, Jones said, in view of the seriousness of the accusations and Smith’s position in public office, "It’s hard to believe that it won’t involve several years of prison time."
Correct : Still, Jones said, in view of the seriousness of the accusations and Smith’s position in public office, "it’s hard to believe that it won’t involve several years of prison time."

When a phrase inserted in a sentence before a quotation to provide context is structured as if it could grammatically be part of that quotation, the first word in the quotation is lowercased as if it were an incomplete sentence.

5.
Original: Smith said that he hoped to "Knock some sense into people" with his new program.
Correct : Smith said that he hoped to "knock some sense into people" with his new program.

When a phrase is enclosed in quotation marks to clarify that it is a direct quotation, it is not capitalized.

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