If your quoting from a book or an article, does grammar matter?
Grammar always matters, Amanda!
Well, let's rewind a bit. Yes, there are certainly times when grammar really doesn't matter. Talking to your best friend, writing a poem or song, texting, making a joke - these are all times when the reader or listener likely doesn't care one bit about grammar.
Since you are asking about quoting a book or article, I assume that you are talking about formal writing. In that case, yes, grammar certainly always matters. The question I think you really want to ask is, "What do I do when I want to quote something that has a grammatical error?"
When you quote someone else's work, you need to write it exactly as it was originally written. Occasionally you can get away with fixing something very minor, such as an obvious typo, and no one will flinch. But if it is a major error, or you want to keep the minor error, there is a solution. You simply put [sic] after the error. This is a latin word that means "thus". It is short for sic erat scriptum - "thus was it written." Foreign words should be in italics, and sic should be put in square brackets as I did above. This tells the reader, "I know there is an error there, but I'm quoting exactly as it was published."
Here is an example of the usage:
Amanda Brown asked, "If your [sic] quoting from a book or an article, does grammar matter?"
In case you're not sure why I used it in your sentence:
Your = possessive adjective.
You're = contraction of you are.
|link comment||answered Oct 05 '13 at 04:43 Patty T Grammarly Fellow|
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