The Quotation Mark and Caps

Margie Wakeman Wells The Quotation Mark, Uncategorized 4 Comments

The rule is that the first word of a quote is capped if it begins a grammatically complete thought or anything that stands for a complete thought. Otherwise, it is lowercase.

…Q  Where were you all headed that morning?
…A  We were headed to work.
…Q  When you say, “We were headed to work,” do you mean to your regular jobs?

…Q  Where were you all headed that morning?
…A  To work.
…Q  When you say, “To work,” do you mean to your regular jobs?

…Q  Where were you all headed that morning?
…A  We were headed to work.
…Q  When you say, “to work,” do you mean your regular jobs?

Happy punctuating!

Margie

Comments 4

  1. Margie …. I don’t understand the “to” in the second example and the “To” in the last example …. why one is capped and one not. What am I missing?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi, Treva.

      In the one without the cap, the quoted part is only part of the total answer; in the one with the cap, the quoted material is the whole thought.

      I hope this makes sense.

      Hope all is well with you.

      Hugs.

  2. Thank you for this post. I have two questions regarding the example below:

    A: Entering in charges or entering payments.
    Q: When you say, “Entering in charges or entering payments,” what do you mean by that?

    First question: is the cap correct since the quoted material is the whole thought?
    Second question: is the comma correct since the quote comes after lead-in words?

    I guess I am wondering if this is in opposition to Morson’s rule 98.
    Thank you for your insight!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi.

      Yes, the cap is correct because this represents a complete thought.

      Right. The comma is correct because of the lead-in words.

      This works with her Rule 98 because of the lead-in words.

      Have a lovely day.

      Margie

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