Home > The Editor's Corner > Editor’s Corner Grammar Quiz 1: Punctuation for Speech and Thought

Happy holidays, readers! This is the time of year for all things festive, and no matter how you choose to celebrate, we know nothing says joy more than a quiz!

quotation punctuation

No? OK, so maybe it’s just us, the self-confessed word geeks of Dog Ear Publishing. But have mercy on us! Between helping a certain someone edit his list and correcting the titles on all those greeting cards, we’re exhausted. (Fun fact: The plural of Mr. is Messrs.)

So today, we’re staying in our pajamas, lighting up the fireplace, and replacing the standard (and punctilious) Editor’s Corner article with some lighthearted fun.

The topic? Punctuation used in speech and thought! (Please, no gifts. Your delighted smiles are thanks enough!)

Take a look at the sentences below and see if you can recognize the mistakes. Eggnog optional.

quotation rules


1. I’ve always been a law-abiding money lender, he said, and am proud to be quite miserly.

2. “Says who”? the Grinch asked snidely.

3. Looking at the blanket, Linus thought, “It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

4. Mr. Parker said, “I’m glad he told the Bumpuses, Your dogs are a menace!”


1. “I’ve always been a law-abiding money lender,” he said, “and am proud to be quite miserly.”
Explanation: Any time someone says, states, declares, or even shouts, those words are enclosed in quotation marks.

2. “Says who?” the Grinch asked snidely.
Explanation: All punctuation applying to what the speaker said should be inside the quotation marks.

3. Looking at the blanket, Linus thought, It’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
Explanation: While there is no formal rule, Dog Ear editors prefer thoughts to be formatted in italics rather than placed in quotation marks.

4. Mr. Parker said, “I’m glad he told the Bumpuses, ‘Your dogs are a menace!’ ”
Explanation: Quotes within quotes use single quotation marks (on a keyboard, use the apostrophe key).

Until next year, friends. Stay merry and bright!

Angela Wade
Angela Wade

I have one goal: to create and shape cohesive, fluid, accessible copy that shifts perspective and makes a connection. With more than twelve years of experience in the writing and editing industry, I accomplish that goal through a passion for brainstorming, researching, planning, writing, and editing everything from grants to novels to marketing materials to websites. My articles, interviews, poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in various print and online publications, including Calyx Journal, Inkwell Magazine, Mindful Homeschooler, and Home Education Magazine.