GMAT Verbal : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GMAT Verbal

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1 3 4

Example Question #1 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Rebecca somberly turned to Ryan and whispered, "It's true, mom told me that "we can't afford the farm anymore" and that we'll have to sell it."

Possible Answers:

mom told me that we can't afford the farm anymore and

mom told me 'that we can't afford the farm anymore' and

mom told me that "we can't afford the farm anymore" and

mom told me "that we can't afford the farm anymore" and

mom told me that 'we can't afford the farm anymore' and

Correct answer:

mom told me that we can't afford the farm anymore and

Explanation:

When another person is being quoted word for word, quotation marks are necessary. Since what Rebecca was saying to Ryan was being quoted word for word, quotation marks were necessary around what she was saying. 

However, if the words that another person said are being relayed indirectly or paraphrased, quotes are not necessary. Rebecca was telling Ryan indirectly what her mom had said, given that she said "mom told me that" (implying paraphrasing), rather than "mom told me" (implying direct quotation). 

Therefore, the correct version of the underlined portion of the sentence is "mom told me that we can't afford the farm anymore and"

Example Question #2 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

According to Thomas Aquinas, "these cases are referred to the category "substance," as, for example, if it were said that man is “handed” or “footed.”"

(Quotation adapted from Aquinas' Commentary on Aristotles' Physics by Thomas Aquinas (1270) (trans. Phill Melton 2015))

Possible Answers:

According to Thomas Aquinas, 'these cases are referred to the category 'substance,' as, for example, if it were said that man is 'handed' or 'footed.'

According to Thomas Aquinas, "these cases are referred to the category 'substance', as, for example, if it were said that man is 'handed' or 'footed'".

According to Thomas Aquinas, 'these cases are referred to the category "substance," as, for example, if it were said that man is "handed" or "footed".'

According to Thomas Aquinas, "these cases are referred to the category "substance," as, for example, if it were said that man is "handed" or "footed.""

According to Thomas Aquinas, "these cases are referred to the category 'substance,' as, for example, if it were said that man is 'handed' or 'footed.'"

Correct answer:

According to Thomas Aquinas, "these cases are referred to the category 'substance,' as, for example, if it were said that man is 'handed' or 'footed.'"

Explanation:

In American English, single quotation marks ('') are used within double quotation marks (""), with punctuation appearing before any quotation marks.

Example Question #2 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

"Abraham Lincoln said, "We must bind up the nation's wounds," the professor noted in trying to outline the sixteenth president's never-utilized plans for Reconstruction.

Possible Answers:

"Abraham Lincoln said, "We must bind up the nation's wounds," the professor notes 

"Abraham Lincoln said, 'We must bind up the nation's wounds,'" the professor noted 

"Abraham Lincoln said, "We must bind up the nation's wounds," the professor noted 

"Abraham Lincoln said, "We must bind up the nation's wounds," as the professor noted 

"Abraham Lincoln said, "We must bind up the nations' wounds," the professor noted 

Correct answer:

"Abraham Lincoln said, 'We must bind up the nation's wounds,'" the professor noted 

Explanation:

The use of quotation marks in this sentence is incorrect, as a quotation within a quotation should always be set apart by single quotation marks inside the standard double quotation marks. The second mark must be changed to a single quotation mark and another single quotation mark should be inserted before the final double quotation mark. "Abraham Lincoln said, 'We must bind up the nation's wounds,'" the professor noted" is the only answer choice that correctly makes these changes.

Example Question #4 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

It's true, he said. "We have to leave". Otherwise, we'll be "in trouble."

Which option best replaces the underlined sentence?

Possible Answers:

"It's true, he said. We have to leave. Otherwise, we'll be in trouble."

It's true, he said. "We have to leave". Otherwise, we'll be "in trouble."

"It's true", he said. "We have to leave." Otherwise, we'll be 'in trouble.'

"It's true," he said. "We have to leave. Otherwise, we'll be in trouble."

"It's true," he said. "We have to leave." Otherwise, we'll be "in trouble."

Correct answer:

"It's true," he said. "We have to leave. Otherwise, we'll be in trouble."

Explanation:

Punctuation should always go on the inside of quotation marks. Compare the following two sentences:

"We have to leave".

"We have to leave."

The second sentence is correct. 

Example Question #3 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Thomas slumped in his chair, turned to me and said, "When I was young my grandfather told me that "when the money's gone, it's time to go on." I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now".

Possible Answers:

'When I was young, my grandfather told me 'when the money's gone, it's time to go on.' I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now.'

"When I was young, my grandfather told me 'when the money's gone, it's time to go on'. I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now".

"When I was young, my grandfather told me 'when the money's gone, it's time to go on.'" "I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now."

"When I was young, my grandfather told me 'when the money's gone, it's time to go on.' I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now."

"when I was young, my grandfather told me 'When the money's gone, it's time to go on.' I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now".

Correct answer:

"When I was young, my grandfather told me 'when the money's gone, it's time to go on.' I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now."

Explanation:

When a person's exact words are reproduced, quotation marks are required. When the quoted text contains a quotation, then single quotation marks are used to indicate that quotation. Also, when quoting, it is correct to include punctuation within the quotation marks. So, the correct version of the sentence is:

Thomas slumped in his chair, turned to me and said, "When I was young my grandfather told me that 'when the money's gone, it's time to go on.' I've listened to him so far, and I won't stop now."

Example Question #4 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

The stated slogan of the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference”, but the constant financial scandals that plagued the campaign’s leadership caused reporters to say the slogan was really “Making a Fortune.”

Possible Answers:

the new charity campaign, was “Making a Difference” but the constant financial scandal

the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference” but the constant financial scandals

the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference”; but the constant financial scandals

the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference”, but the constant financial scandals

the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference,” but the constant financial scandals

Correct answer:

the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference,” but the constant financial scandals

Explanation:

In any piece of writing in quotation marks, even slogans or mottos, the punctuation that follows the final word must be placed inside the final quotation mark, excepting semicolons. Placing punctuation outside the quotation mark, as it is in this sentence, is incorrect. Only one answer choice, "the new charity campaign was “Making a Difference,” but the constant financial scandals," appropriately fixes the sentence.

Example Question #7 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

'It's time to go,' he said. "The store is about to close."

Which answer best replaces the underlined portion of the sentence?

Possible Answers:

'It's time to go' he said.

"It's time to go," he said. 

"It's time to go" he said.

"It's time to go, he said."

'It's time to go,' he said.

Correct answer:

"It's time to go," he said. 

Explanation:

When writing or reading dialogue, the spoken line should always end with a comma before the action words; furthermore, single quotes should only be used for quotes within other quotes. In normal cases, use double quotes. 

Example Question #2 : Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

“I can’t believe he ate the entire cake,” she said, “Can you?”

Possible Answers:

cake,” she said. “Can you?”

cake.” She said. “Can you?”

cake” she said “Can you?”

cake” she said, “Can you?”

cake,” she said, “Can you?”

Correct answer:

cake,” she said. “Can you?”

Explanation:

Double quotation marks are conventionally used to indicate speech, and commas are conventionally used inside the quotation marks to separate a line of speech from its subsequent dialogue tag. Because “‘Can you?’” is a separate sentence from “‘I can’t believe he ate the entire cake,’ she said,’” there must be a period after “she said” to separate the two sentences.

Example Question #8 : Correcting Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

“Why does your so-called ‘fact sheet’ list obvious fallacies,” she asked?

Possible Answers:

“Why does your so-called ‘fact sheet’ list obvious fallacies”? she asked.

“Why does your so-called ‘fact sheet’ list obvious fallacies?” she asked.

“Why does your so-called ‘fact sheet’ list obvious fallacies,” she asked?

“Why does your so-called “fact sheet” list obvious fallacies,” she asked?

“Why does your so-called “fact sheet” list obvious fallacies?” she asked.

Correct answer:

“Why does your so-called ‘fact sheet’ list obvious fallacies?” she asked.

Explanation:

Double quotation marks are conventionally used to indicate speech, and question marks are conventionally used inside the quotation marks to indicate the end of an interrogative sentence. Double quotation marks (without commas) are also conventionally used to indicate skepticism about a word or term, as with “fact sheet” here. However, because “fact sheet” is already within a set of double quotation marks, single quotation marks must be used.

Example Question #4 : Quotation Mark Errors

Replace the underlined portion with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English. One of the answer choices reproduces the underlined portion as it is written in the sentence.

Did she say, "I'll take the car?"

Possible Answers:

Did she say, "I'll take the car."

Did she say, "I'll take the car?"

Did she say, "I'll take the car"?

Did she say, "I'll take the car."? 

Did she say "I'll take the car"?

Correct answer:

Did she say, "I'll take the car"?

Explanation:

This question is asking whether or not a phrase was said, and that phrase itself is not a question. If a question ends with a quoted statement that is not a question, the question mark will go outside the closing quotation mark.

← Previous 1 3 4
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: