Quoting Pieces of Sentences

In general, this is the preferred method of quoting because it only uses the juiciest part of a sentence.

Begin a sentence with your own words, then complete it with quoted words. The quotation should fit the grammar and flow of your sentence perfectly.


  • Hamlet’s task is to avenge a “foul and most unnatural murder” (Act I, Scene v, line 25).
  • The speaker of the poem warns us to live life fully since “this same flower that smiles today/ Tomorrow will be dying” (3-4).
  • Junpei finds a way to turn his life into a comedy because “Sala would be sure to love the new ending” (13).

Notice that the quotations (in purple) are incomplete sentences. They need the words that introduce the quotation (in green) to form one complete idea. The reverse is also true. The words introducing the quotation are incomplete sentences and need the quotation to be complete.


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