“He said, ‘spend a week more on the west wall and do your job diligently,’ and that at the end of the week, 'he would see,'” Yarpres said.

I did research https://www.grammarbook.com/punctuation/quotes.asp but I'm not understanding the concepts there, it's a bit confusing.

Any help would be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


What you have written is technically correct according to the rules that I understand and follow. However, I would argue that it, as written, will be confusing to most human readers, and for that reason I would argue that you should restructure the sentence.

For example:

Yarpres was trying to encourage me, "Look, the head man said, ‘spend a week more on the west wall and do your job diligently.’ Good advice that, always."

I must have looked doubtful. Yarpres continued, "The head man must have some confidence in you. He said that at the end of the week, 'he would see.' I know him to be a man of his word.”

I think that this is more digestible than your example in that it does not require the reader to parse the material to get the meaning.


Been there, done that! If you do what I have done, and check a dozen different publications in the same genre (mine was fantasy), you are going to find a dozen different styles.

Unless you are following a regimented style guide, it is essentially up to you or your publisher, if they care.

I have decided to use double quotes for the dialogue remarks and single quotes for the embedded direct speech or quotations. But other authors or their editors/publishers used the opposite, and any combinations thereof, which I assume is caused by such a mundane consideration as saving some ink and paper at the print house.

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