Quotation Marks Worksheets


We must use quotation marks in different situations in English, such as quoting what someone says, so get some practice in with these quotation marks worksheets. We'll review the uses and rules for writing sentences with quotation marks with illustrated examples, followed by exercises for you to practice!

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here to get the English Short Stories Book and Workbook



We use quotation marks when we want to quote the exact words spoken or written by another person. We also use them for titles or words that we are using in a special way in a sentence.

Below, there are illustrated examples to review the uses of quotation marks, as well as the rules for how to write them in a sentence.


Uses of quotation marks

This is a brief review. For full explanations and examples, check out the quotation marks article.

Here are some of the ways we can use quotation marks:

1. To quote the exact words someone else spoke or wrote

For example:
  • "There's a spider in your hair!" she screamed.
  • According to Wikipedia, London is "the capital city of England and of the United Kingdom."

  • "If you're going to the store," she said, "please buy some more eggs."
a woman making cookies in her kitchen

2. To give titles of books, poems, articles, chapters, movies, etc.


For example:
  • My very favorite book is "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte.

  • Please read "The History of Pottery" in your textbooks.

  • Do you know the song "All of Me?"
Note: see the table on British English and American English rules for putting punctuation inside the quotation marks.

a woman singing

3. To show that a word is being used in a special way in the sentence

Maybe we want to say that something is thought or supposed to be a certain way, but we don't agree.

For example:
  • The "reception" was just sandwiches in the parking lot!
    (In this sentence, I mean that in my opinion, that isn't a real reception.)

  • The "specialist" I spoke to didn't even know the author's name.
    (I mean that the person I spoke to said he was a specialist, but I don't think so.)
a man who looks unsure

We can also use quotes around a word a phrase to say that we are using it only as a word, like in an example.
  • We use the word "chauffeur" to talk about a driver in English, but this is originally a French word!

  • If you look up the noun "present" in a dictionary, you will see that it has different meanings.
a girl with a present

These are the situations in which we use quotation marks. Now, let's review the rules.

Rules for using quotation marks

For a complete explanation with illustrated examples, check out the interrupted quotations article.

Here are the main rules:

1. Always use quotation marks at the beginning and end of the word or words you are quoting

There should be no spaces between the quotation marks and the words you are quoting.

For example:

Incorrect: "I am a big fan of yours, said the girl.

Correct: "I am a big fan of yours," said the girl.


Incorrect: She read The Da Vinci Code" in four days!

Correct: She read "The Da Vinci Code" in four days!


Incorrect: I want to see " Monsters University ."

Correct: I want to see "Monsters University."

a monster in a closet


2. Separate the quote from the speaker tag with commas

The speaker tag are the words that indicate who said or wrote what you are quoting.

We usually put the speaker tag at the end of the sentence, but it can come in the middle or, sometimes, at the beginning of the sentence.

Remember that the comma before the speaker tag stays inside the quotation marks, but a comma after the speaker tag says outside the quotation marks.

For example:

Incorrect: "It's a good idea to travel together" he said.

Correct: "It's a good idea to travel together," he said.


Incorrect: "It's a good idea", he said ",to travel together."

Correct: "It's a good idea," he said, "to travel together."


Incorrect: He said "It's a good idea to travel together."

Correct: He said, "It's a good idea to travel together.

people traveling together by car

3. The final punctuation of the sentence goes inside the quotation marks

If there is no speaker tag at the end of a quoted sentence, a period, explanation mark or question mark goes inside the quotes.

Even if the speaker tag comes in the middle, question marks and exclamation marks are placed inside the quotation marks.

For example:

Incorrect: "Are you going to the party tonight," Jenny asked?

Correct: "Are you going to the party tonight?" Jenny asked.


Incorrect: The teacher said, "Please begin your tests".

Correct: The teacher said, "Please begin your tests."

a student taking a test

That's all there is to it! Now, let's get some practice.


Exercise A: Using quotation marks

Choose the best answer to describe each picture.

1.
a bulldog that looks very mean

a.) "Their" cute little puppy looks more like a monster!
b.) Their cute little puppy "looks" more like a monster!
c.) Their cute little puppy looks more like a "monster!"
d.) Their "cute little puppy" looks more like a monster!


2.
a funny pig talking into a microphone

a.) "Why did the chicken cross the road?" asked the comedian.
b.) "Why did the chicken cross the road," asked the comedian?
c.) " Why did the chicken cross the road? " asked the comedian.
d.) "Why did the chicken cross the road? asked the comedian.


3.
kids in costumes trick-or-treating

a.) All together, the children yelled "Trick or treat!"
b.) All together, the children yelled Trick or treat!
c.) All together, the children yelled, "Trick or treat!"
d.) All together, the children yelled, "Trick or treat"!


4.
a traffic policeman with a stop sign

a.) The sign said, "stop".
b.) The sign said, "stop."
c.) The sign said "stop."
d.) The sign said ",stop."


5.
a man with a party hat

a.) He said it would be amazing, but the "surprise" was just his hat!
b.) He said it "would" be amazing, but the surprise was just his hat!
c.) He said it would be amazing, but the "surprise was just" his hat!
d.) He said it would be amazing, but the surprise was just his "hat!"


Exercise B: Quotation marks in sentences

Rewrite each sentence, placing the quotation marks in the correct place.

1. I love the song I Will Always Love You.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

2. Listen to me, said the tour guide.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.


3. If you want to help, she said, slice those onions.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.


4. The policeman said, Don't worry, it's safe to walk here.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.


5. The word examine has a Latin root.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.


Exercise C: Punctuation with quotation marks

Find and correct the mistake in each sentence.

1.
a woman who is very upset about losing at tennis

"If you're going to be a bad loser," said John, "it's better not to play"!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.



2.
a man carrying lots of boxes for a woman

"Just carry those boxes and I'll get the door" said Sheila.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.



3.
a large ship

"Look at that great big ship," said Michael!

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.



4.
a boy sick in bed

Timmy looked at me and said "I'm not feeling very well."

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.



5.
a happy man with lots of gifts

" I do love getting presents," John said.

________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________.

Answer Key

Exercise A:

1. d.) Their "cute little puppy" looks more like a monster!
2. a.) "Why did the chicken cross the road?" asked the comedian.
3. c.) All together, the children yelled, "Trick or treat!"
4. b.) The sign said, "stop."
5. a.) He said it would be amazing, but the "surprise" was just his hat!


Exercise B:

1. I love the song "I Will Always Love You."
2. "Listen to me," said the tour guide.
3. "If you want to help," she said, "slice those onions."
4. The policeman said, "Don't worry, it's safe to walk here."
5. The word "examine" has a Latin root.


Exercise C:

1. "If you're going to be a bad loser," said John, "it's better not to play!"
2. "Just carry those boxes and I'll get the door," said Sheila.
3. "Look at that great big ship!" said Michael.
4. Timmy looked at me and said, "I'm not feeling very well."
5. "I do love getting presents," John said.




Get Vocabulary, Grammar and Teaching Tips, Site Updates and Special Offers Directly to Your Mailbox

Join now and get a special bonus:

First 2 chapters of the English Short Stories Book and Workbook.

Are you a teacher or a student?

* We respect your email privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.