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    #1

    colon

    Is it grammatically wrong if I use a colon after reporting verbs like say, tell, report, etc?
    In Persian we do it.
    Ali said: I wouldn't come to the party.
    Thanks,

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: colon

    The English style I follow says that's wrong. Ali said, "I wouldn't come to the party." You use a comma and quotation marks for a direct quote.

    The exception is in a script, when a colon comes after the character's name.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: colon

    Thank you,
    1. Is there any difference between ' and " ?
    a. Said Ali, 'I wouldn't come to the party.'
    b. Said Ali, "I wouldn't come to the party."

    2. Some people put the period after the quotation mark.
    c. Said Ali, 'I wouldn't come to the party'.
    d. Said Ali, "I wouldn't come to the party".

    3. And if I want to change the word order:
    e. 'I wouldn't come to the party', Ali said.
    or:
    f. 'I wouldn't come to the party,' Ali said.

    Quotation mark precedes the comma or vice-versa?
    Last edited by atabitaraf; 19-May-2012 at 12:04.

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    #4

    Re: colon

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Atabitaraf:

    I believe that the only "correct" sentences in American English would be:

    Ali said, "I wouldn't come to the party."

    "I wouldn't come to the party," Ali said.

    *****

    If there is a quotation within a quotation, I believe Americans would write it like this:

    Mona said, "I am very happy when you say, 'I love you.' "

    *****

    Barb (a professional writer) reminded us that we usually introduce a quotation with a comma,

    as I did in the sentence above.

    Sometimes (especially in formal writing or if the quotation is very long), a colon is used and sometimes must be used.

    I most respectfully suggest that you google "use of colon." I think that you will find many helpful results. If you plan to do

    some university-level writing, there will be times when you will definitely introduce a quotation with a colon.

    Here are three examples. Please study them carefully:

    The sense of unity with nature is vividly shown in Zen Buddhist paintings and poetry: "An old pine tree preaches wisdom. And a wild bird is crying out truth." -- Anne Morrow Lindbergh. (quoted in Harbrace College Handbook)

    In 1803, Thomas Jefferson said: "We have seen with sincere concern the flames of war lighted again in Europe ..."

    [It is a long quotation] (quoted in College Handbook of Composition)

    [Notice how the two quotations are introduced in my last example]

    For example, the report cannot say, "It was a wonderful car," but must say something like this: "It has been driven 50,000 miles and has never required any repairs." -- S.I. Hayakawa. (quoted in Perrin's Index to English)
    Last edited by TheParser; 19-May-2012 at 13:32.

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