Modifying direct quotes


Should I correct direct quotes, particularly quotes that are old and therfore different grammar was used?

See example:

I reply that it is not up to a writer, to attack the value of an expression that has been consecrated by use and that in my national language I have not been able to find a better name than Jew to designate those whom I wish to stigmatize."
asked Apr 16 '13 at 20:43 M Weaver New member

2 answers


No, in a direct quote, you may not alter the spelling or the grammar. You may, however, paraphrase the quotation using your own words. If you paraphrase the quotation, do not enclose it in quotation marks.


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Apr 16 '13 at 20:53 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

If a quote has a misspelled word, and you are quite certain that it was just a typo, you usually can get away with correcting the spelling. Otherwise, if there is an obvious error, you can write [sic] after the error. This tells the reader that the error was from the original source, not from you.

link comment answered Apr 16 '13 at 22:03 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.