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    #1

    A quote within a quote

    I知 writing a fictional story, and came up with a grammar issue. I知 not sure if this is the right place to post it, but I知 hoping that someone can help me out.

    Basically, I am writing a quote within a quote. I know that the general rule (American English) is that the person speaking goes in double quotes, and that the inside quotes are single quotes.

    However, I知 not sure if it works that way when the character is quoting a whole conversation. I wrote it out below- I知 not sure if I did it right, or if its easy to follow. But if anyone can give me advice on how to make it clear, I would appreciate it.

    Thank you.


    Nick looked around the room before he continued speaking.

    淘Kyle, I said. But I stopped, at a loss of words.

    適yle looked down at his daughter痴 still form. 選t hurts, he said. 選t hurts so much.

    湯I know, I whispered. 鮮ow you know.

    適yle whimpered. 銭now?

    的 nodded my head, and sighed. 塑ou know what you have done to thousands of people.

    涛Kyle shook his head. 'What have I done? They killed my daughter!'

    的 gripped his shoulder. 'And you killed theirs.' Understanding dawned on the bereaved father痴 face. 塑ou killed parents, children, and siblings, I continued. 塑ou are the one who scared the people you then murdered. Look at her, I said, pointing to the dead child. 鉄he was awake. She was terrified. You have done that.

    湯Don稚 Kyle croaked, his eyes wide, staring down at his daughter.

    湯You were the cause of the loss their families had to suffer, I continued. 禅heir children had to grow up without a parent. Their siblings missed their brother or sister. Aaron will probably not even remember his sister.

    湯No

    湯You have caused other parents to fell what you are now feeling. Thousands of people, Kyle. On your head.

    湯No! Kyle yelled. 全top! I can稚 I already did it! What can I do about it now? It痴 too late now.

    湯You can make a promise, Kyle, to never do it again.

    湯I do, said Kyle, looking down at his daughter. 選 will never have anyone killed again.

    湯Not good enough, I said, harshly. 選n a week you will forget.

    湯I won稚, said Kyle. 選値l never he stopped and closed his eyes. He picked up his daughter痴 still body and held her to his chest, not caring that he was getting blood all over himself.

    湯I swear, he said, 双n Alice, he stopped for a moment. 選 swear on Alice痴 grave, he said again. 禅hat no one will ever feel this way again. Not if I have anything to say about it.樗

    鄭nd as far as I know," Nick said, 滴e hasn't broken that sacred promise. Until now.

    Nick stopped talking. Cherry felt horrified. She had never known that about her father. Never suspected

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A quote within a quote

    Quote Originally Posted by adler View Post
    Nick looked around the room before he continued speaking.
    I take it that everything that follows this initial sentence is meant to be what Nick said. If is, italicise it all, and delete the initial double quotes at the beginning of almost every line. We'll then have a passage we can begin to work on.

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    #3

    Re: A quote within a quote

    I think it is much worse even than Piscean stated. If you write "Nick looked around the room before he continued speaking" the next sentence has to be about what Nick said or did next. There is no other way to rescue yourself from that linguistic situation.

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    #4

    Re: A quote within a quote

    Quote Originally Posted by adler View Post


    Nick looked around the room before he continued speaking.

    "Kyle," I said. But I stopped, at a loss of words.

    Kyle looked down at his daughter’s still form. "It hurts," he said. "It hurts so much."

    “’I know," I whispered. "Now you know."

    Kyle whimpered, ‘"Know?"

    I nodded my head and sighed, "You know what you have done to thousands of people."

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


    Hello, Adler:

    I have rewritten a few sentences above in a way that works for me.

    When you referred to a quotation in a quotation, I immediately thought of something like:

    When I spoke with Mona yesterday, she said, "I distinctly overheard Joe say, 'I love Betty.' " [Joe's quotation is inside Mona's quotation.] (P.S. Mona and Joe are engaged to be married!)
    Last edited by TheParser; 26-Sep-2015 at 12:49.

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    #5

    Re: A quote within a quote

    Thanks for all the replies and suggestions.

    So the beginning part is actually a bit different. I had changed it when I posted it the first time to make it simpler, but I think I made it more complicated instead.

    I prefer not using italics for more than one word, but if its the only way to save this section...

    Basically, Nick had been telling a long story. Until now, he was just describing what had happened. Now, it changes to him relating a conversation he'd had with his brother many years previously. He is talking to his brother (reminding him of the conversation) and to other people, telling them about it.

    Instead of the line about Nick looking around, is the paragraph below. I re-posted the whole conversation, for clarity.



    鄭fter hearing the reports, Alice痴 mother mutely nodded and left the room. The doctor followed her out to give her some sleeping pills so she could have a dreamless sleep. I was left alone in Alice痴 room with the girl痴 father.

    淘Kyle, I said. But I stopped, at a loss of words.

    適yle looked down at his daughter痴 still form. 選t hurts, he said. 選t hurts so much.

    湯I know, I whispered. 鮮ow you know.

    適yle whimpered. 銭now?

    的 nodded my head, and sighed. 塑ou know what you have done to thousands of people.

    湯Kyle shook his head. 'What have I done? They killed my daughter!'

    的 gripped his shoulder. 'And you killed theirs.' Understanding dawned on the bereaved father痴 face. 塑ou killed parents, children, and siblings, I continued. 塑ou are the one who scared the people you then murdered. Look at her, I said, pointing to the dead child. 鉄he was awake. She was terrified. You have done that.

    湯Don稚 Kyle croaked, his eyes wide, staring down at his daughter.

    湯You were the cause of the loss their families had to suffer, I continued. 禅heir children had to grow up without a parent. Their siblings missed their brother or sister. Aaron will probably not even remember his sister.

    湯No

    湯You have caused other parents to fell what you are now feeling. Thousands of people, Kyle. On your head.

    湯No! Kyle yelled. 全top! I can稚 I already did it! What can I do about it now? It痴 too late now.

    湯You can make a promise, Kyle, to never do it again.

    湯I do, said Kyle, looking down at his daughter. 選 will never have anyone killed again.

    湯Not good enough, I said, harshly. 選n a week you will forget.

    湯I won稚, said Kyle. 選値l never he stopped and closed his eyes. He picked up his daughter痴 still body and held her to his chest, not caring that he was getting blood all over himself.

    湯I swear, he said, 双n Alice, he stopped for a moment. 選 swear on Alice痴 grave, he said again. 禅hat no one will ever feel this way again. Not if I have anything to say about it.樗

    鄭nd as far as I know," Uncle Nick said, 滴e hasn't broken that sacred promise. Until now.

    Uncle Nick stopped talking. Cherry felt horrified. She had never known that about her father. Never suspected

    She looked over at her father, and was shocked to see his arms covering his face, his head down on the table, body shaking with sobs.

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    #6

    Re: A quote within a quote

    It's still very cluttered with all those initial quotation marks, particularly when Nick is quoting Nick. I'd scrap them all.
    Last edited by Piscean; 30-Sep-2015 at 10:47. Reason: typo

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    #7

    Re: A quote within a quote

    Short of italicizing the whole conversation, how can I get rid of the quotes? What can I do to show who is talking, and that Nick is still just repeating all this?

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    #8

    Question Re: A quote within a quote

    Does this method work? Is it clear that the whole scene happened in the past? Is there a better way to convey this scene?


    鄭fter hearing the reports, Alice痴 mother mutely nodded and left the room," said Nick. "The doctor followed her out to give her some sleeping pills so she could have a dreamless sleep. I was left alone in Alice痴 room with the girl痴 father."

    Cherry closed her eyes, and could imagine the scene clearly, as if she had been there that night. She could imagine her father痴 strong voice, broken, tears cascading down his face. She could picture her uncle痴 soft voice, talking gently, trying to console his brother, while trying to come to terms with his own pain. She let her uncle痴 words, still talking in the background, to fill in the gaps where her imagination ended.

    適yle, Nick said. But he stopped, at a loss of words.

    Kyle looked down at his daughter痴 still form. 的t hurts, he said. 的t hurts so much.

    的 know, Nick whispered. 哲ow you know.

    Kyle whimpered. 適now?

    Nick nodded his head, and sighed. 添ou know what you have done to thousands of people.

    Kyle shook his head. 展hat have I done? They killed my daughter!

    Nick gripped his shoulder. 鄭nd you killed theirs. Understanding dawned on the bereaved father痴 face. 添ou killed parents, children, and siblings, Nick continued. 添ou are the one who scared the people, terrified them, then murdered them. Look at her, Nick commanded, pointing to the dead child. 鏑ook at her! She was awake. She was terrified. You have done that.

    泥on稚 Kyle croaked, his eyes wide, staring down at his daughter.

    添ou are the cause of hundreds of people痴 suffering, Nick continued. 鼎hildren who had to grow up without parents. Parents losing their precious children.

    哲o

    鉄iblings missing their brother or sister. Aaron probably won稚 even remember her.

    撤lease

    添ou have caused other parents to feel what you are now feeling. Thousands of people, Kyle. On your head.

    哲o! Kyle yelled. 鉄top! I can稚 I already did it! What can I do about it now? It痴 too late. It痴 all too late.

    添ou can make a promise, Kyle, to never do it again.

    的 do, said Kyle, looking down at his daughter. 的 will never have anyone killed again.

    "Not good enough, Nick said, harshly. 添ou値l forget within a week.

    的 won稚, said Kyle. 的値l never he stopped and closed his eyes. He picked up his daughter痴 still body and held her to his chest, not caring that he was getting blood all over himself.

    的 swear, he said, 登n Alice, he stopped for a moment, and took a deep breath. 的 swear on Alice痴 grave, he said again. 典hat no one will ever feel this way again. Not if I have anything to say about it.

    Cherry opened her eyes, back at the table where her uncle was telling a story. She stared at her uncle in awe. She was seeing him in a totally new light.

    鄭nd as far as I know, Uncle Nick said, 滴e hasn't broken that sacred promise. Until now.

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