How to Use Quotation Marks, According to AP Style


How to Use Quotation Marks, According to AP Style


You should probably be using them both more, and less, than you think.

Allison Carter, Ragan Communications

Quotation marks seem straightforward. If you’re recounting exactly what someone else said, it should be in quotation marks. Easy, right?

That part is simple enough. But where does the punctuation mark go in a quote? What if it’s a quote within a quote? Do you ever use single quotes? What if it’s an unfamiliar word? Are there exceptions?

There are a lot of rules for quotation marks in AP style, but overall, they are enforced consistently. If you can remember a few rules of thumb, you’ll be a quotation pro in no time.

How to quote people

Double quotation marks – “that’s these guys” – go around words that are being reproduced exactly as they were spoken or written. Each speaker gets their own set of quotation marks.

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Most punctuation goes within the quotation marks if it applies to the quote. For example:

  • “What time is the parade?”
  • “The parade is soon!”
  • “I do not like parades.”
  • “You’re no fun,” he said.

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