School papers, Essays, Dissertations/which one is correct?



How are you?

Which choice is correct? Please explain your reasons.

A) That novel was translated by "Mr. Ignat Avsey."

B) That novel was translated by Mr. Ignat Avsey.

Thank you
All best

ANSWER: B) is correct. I can think of no reason to put the translator's name in quotation marks. Indeed, I cannot think of any reason for it to occur to anyone to put a proper noun in quotation marks. Proper nouns are identified by capitalization, not quotation marks.

Hope this helps.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you.

How about this question? Which choice is correct?

a)I don't know "Peter," the person who contacted me this morning from Spain.

b) I don't know Peter, the person who contacted me this morning from Spain.

Thank you

ANSWER: I really answered this question fully already. There is no reason to put a proper noun into quotation marks. Nor, so far as I know, is there any reason for the question to even come up. What has given you this idea?

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

My friend insists on saying that option a)(I don't know "Peter," the person who contacted me this morning from Spain) is correct.

He says when we refer to a NAME as a particular WORD, we enclose it in quotation marks.

He also quoted a sentence from ""The Holt Handbook."

From "The Holt Handbook" -- Rule 30c:  Words used in a special sense are enclosed in quotation marks.  When a word is referred to as a word.  EXAMPLES:  How do you pronounce "trough"?
Is their name spelled "Smith" or "Smythe?"

Now, given what I said above, what do you think, Professor Smith?
Thank you

Your friend is wrong. When the Holt Handbook refers to using a word in a special sense, it means an instance in which the word is used in a way that is not usual for that word. There is nothing unusual about using a name in a sentence. It is just a plain old proper noun used in its usual sense.

You are correct about using quotation marks when referring to a word as a word as in the sentence about "trough." I think either with or without quotation marks would be acceptable in the Smith-Smythe sentence.

If we were discussing, say, the etymology of the name, "Peter," or any other word, we might properly enclose it in quotation marks. In the sentences you gave, we're just talking about Peter, the person.

I hope this helps.

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Dan Smith


I have been a professional writer and editor for more than 30 years, taught speech and English composition at the university level, and have developed speech and English composition courses and seminars for businesses. I am experienced in editing a wide variety of materials, especially business, scientific, and other academic papers. I am familiar with all the major style guides.


I have edited any number of graduate papers and other technical materials in such advanced fields as civil and electrical engineering and semiconductor fabrication. I have extensive experience in working with non-native English speakers.

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