View Full Version : Quotation Question

03-24-2007, 03:31 PM
I'm writing an informal response* of a poem for my intro level American Lit class and I have a question about how to quote correctly in instances when I want to allude to a line in a poem, but would also like to change the verb tense to fit with the flow of my paper. Specifically, I'm quoting the line "we binge and purge" (from S. A. Griffin's "I Ate Fig Newtons Until I Puked" and would like to say, "I donít think heís referring to a proper relationship, more of an on again-off again friends-with-benefits sort of thing, with binging and purging." Please, I'm not looking for comments on the sentence quality itself, just the proper way to quote a writer while changing the verb tense.


*The responses for this class are only a page long, double spaced. Their main purpose is to make sure that we've put some sort of thought into what we've read and they aren't actually graded for grammar. So long as you have a basic command of capitalization and end punctuation, you won't really be graded against for incorrect grammar. I'm mostly just asking this question because I'm curious.

03-24-2007, 04:55 PM
If you are using a directquote, which is to say, you are taking the sentence but changing the verb tense, you just put whatever words/endings you had to change to make the sentence work in brackets[].


an on-again off-again friends-with-benefits sort of thing, with "binge[ing] and purg[ing]."

if that's what you want to do, though, I don't see why you'd need a direct quote, seems like a paraphrase would be fine, in which case the sentence you have above seems to work just fine.

03-24-2007, 07:24 PM
I agree. I only wanted to add a thank you for using quotation in the thread title, rather than the improper version of that word. :)