A girl said, quote, I want a lollipop, end quote, as she walked past the candy store.

Would you say it like that out loud?

  • Odd girl. I'd say it out loud for a lollipop. Commented Feb 5, 2011 at 10:27
  • Hi DarkLightA: Stack Exchange discourages certain types of questions, and by addressing this question to others in this personalized manner you have made this an "open ended question" where "every answer is equally valid", which makes our voting system relatively pointless, and as such, I'm voting to close this as Primarily Opinion Based. If you can make the question more objectively answerable by altering its scope, such as by asking if this is a standard practice, please edit the question. Also, if you edit, please don't forget to include some minimal research.
    – Tonepoet
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 2:00

8 Answers 8


When reading a book aloud for recorded books, the reader never says "quote / unquote". Instead they indicate the quotation by a verbal change, such as a pause, or a change in the reading style or both.

The only time I've heard the quote / unquote construction used verbally is when one person is reading aloud another person's words during a debate or an argument.

For example, a television interviewer catching a politician in a lie by saying

"But Senator, only last month when speaking before the XYV committee you said, and I quote, 'blah blah blah' end quote. Did you indeed say that Senator?"

In this example, the use of "quote / end quote" is an attempt by the journalist to inject some drama by verbally indicating he is quoting the senator verbatim.

  • Generally agree. I'd just add that I can see it being useful when one wants to be very clear about what is part of the quote and what is not. That would include quoting a lie, but might also include more literary cases, like you want to be clear what is the quote from Shakespeare and what is your paraphrase of the surrounding context. Like many effective linguistic tools, it is often abused.
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 13, 2012 at 21:34

It would be appropriate to say this if you were verbally transcribing or dictating text and wanted to be very clear (or needed to verbalize every non-comma punctuation mark).


I wouldn't say it, but it is not an unusual thing to hear.

Also, sometimes people say "quote unquote" before the quote:

The politician described it as a - quote unquote - "lie".


If the source is unknown the quote/endquote is appropriate. If the source of the quote is given credit in the text then it is not necessary. In the case above the source of the quote is "the girl" and therefore it is not necessary when speaking aloud.


No; I'd say:

A girl said she wanted a lollipop as she walked past the candy store.

Using “quote” and “end quote” in speech usually sounds quite awkward, and it's rarely that important to punctuate the quotation like that for the listener.

  • Strange. You seem to have destroyed what little credability the girl had in the story. Where she once had a voice, now the lass is just a thought in the speaker's head. I agree about not saying quote/unquote, but disagree that dialog should be removed.
    – Jesse Ivy
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 6:13

Dialogue read in text is marked by a change in intonation; the reading of quotations is often worked into a sentence, but may be read as dialogue.


I hate to revive an old thread for this, but while quote / end quote is awkward in normal speech and to be avoided there. I do use this sort of structure when I make academic presentations if I am reading a block quote when my next sentence is not significantly different in style from the material I am quoting.


A person would only actually say "quote" and "end quote" if they were trying to be clever or different.

They would just say:

I want a lollipop

  • 1
    The question is about reporting speech, not direct speech itself. (I.e, it's about someone else saying what the girl said, not the girl talking.) Commented Dec 27, 2010 at 20:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.