Quotation marks are used to identify words that someone has said. You’ll often find them in fiction, where they signify dialogue, the words spoken by the characters. In newspapers, journalists use quotation marks to signify that something is a direct quote from a person in the article. In academic papers, quotation marks can signify that you are quoting material that was written by someone else. Quotation marks always come in pairs; the first set opens the quote and the second set closes the quote.
American vs. British Quotation Marks
American English and British English differ in the way they use quotation marks. American English uses double quotation marks (“ ”) for quotes and reserves single quotation marks (‘ ’) for quotes within quotes. In British English, the convention is the opposite. Another difference is that in American English, periods and commas go before closing quotation marks. In British English, they go after the closing quotation mark. The guidelines below apply to American English.
When writers become confused about quotation marks, it usually has to do with where to put other nearby punctuation. Below is an example of a conversation between two characters, with their dialogue correctly punctuated. See More . . .
What Is a Participle?
Before we talk about what it means to dangle a participle, we have to answer the question What is a participle?
It’s a tough question because participles have a few different jobs. Today, we’re only going to talk about their job that makes them look like adjectives. They tell you more about the noun that follows.
Participles can be in the present tense or the past tense, and the present participle always ends with “ing.” For example, “dream” is a verb, and “dreaming” is its present participle. “Speed” is a verb, and “speeding” is its present participle. To use the verb, you could say, “He will speed on the freeway.” “Speed” is an action, a verb.
To use “speeding” as an adjective-like participle, you could say, “Follow that speeding car.” “Speeding” acts something like an adjective modifying the noun “car.” It tells you what the car is doing—what kind of car it is—a speeding car.
Here’s another example: “hike” is a verb, and “hiking” is the present participle. To use the verb, you could say “Let’s hike the trail.” To use the participle, you could say, “Wait for the hiking campers to get back.” “Hiking,” the participle, tells you what the campers are doing—what kind of campers they are—hiking campers.