Submitted by davidjones  •  August 24, 2006

Quoting text within a quotation

I’m curious about the correct way to punctuate something like the following: David found a note that only had a few words written on it. “I’m too tired to walk.”

Is there a correct way to do this without quotation marks. I’ve seen hyphens used in some instances but that seems incorrect.

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I guess what Chris says goes more by the rule book, though I am not sure about the part, where he has mentioned about alternating quotes, guess I would take it as a something to know.

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Ultimately, the written word is designed to convey information. If you do not want to use quotes you might explore the use of italics. It is not Chicago style, but is visually distinguishable and may be acceptable for informal writting.

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Use double quotes for the outermost quotation. Then use single quotes for the inner quotation.

"David found a note that only had a few words written on it: 'I'm too tired to walk.'"

For a third level of nested quoting, alterante back to double quotes:

"David found a note that only had a few words written on it: 'I'm too "tired" to walk, if you know what I mean!'"

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