When I write : My parent never told me that some criminals are being executed,

Do I add a quotation mark before some and after executed when I am using "that"?

  • 4
    No. It's clearly not a direct quote, so no quotations marks. – Hot Licks Feb 22 '15 at 22:57

As your sentence stands, it is a report structure. You are not claiming that you are repeating your parent's actual words. Use of quotation marks, on the other hand, is understood to show a quote structure, where the words are claimed to be exactly as [here, your parent] uttered them. 'That' is used most often with report structures. But not exclusively:

From Pasco-Hernando State College Writing Center [tweaked]:

A1 He said, “It will rain today.”

B1 He said, “It is absolutely certain that it will rain today.”

See how the signal phrase [often known confusingly as the reporting clause] is limited to words that say who says the quote.

When more words are added before the quote, the quote becomes fragmentary – a partial sentence quote.

One example is the use of the word that before a quote. Then, the quoted words would be part of a sentence started outside the quote:

B2 He said that “it will rain today.”

  • 1
    Mind you don't get tweaked. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 22 '15 at 23:48
  • Huh? Tweaked??? – user98990 Feb 22 '15 at 23:55
  • 1
    eg having a colon removed. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 23 '15 at 0:04
  • It's Sunday, Mr. Ashworth, you know, the day the Lord rested? – user98990 Feb 23 '15 at 0:07
  • @LittleEva - Spoken like a true colonist. – Erik Kowal Feb 23 '15 at 1:55

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