Capitalization: The First Word In A Sentence That Is A Direct Quote
When quoting, the first word of a complete sentence should be capitalized, regardless of its placement within the main sentence.
Matthew said, “I’m going out for a walk!”
“We are not amused.” – Queen Victoria
Neil Young’s admonishment “It’s better to burn out than it is to rust” is not appreciated by everyone.
If only part of a quote is used, retain the original capitals. If you use the first part of the sentence, it will begin with a capital; if the quote begins part-way through the sentence, don’t use a capital.
William Butler Yeats said, “Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.”
William Butler Yeats said that education should not be passive and dull, but that it should be seen as “… lighting a fire”.
Note how the capitals from the original quote are maintained in both sentences.
“I am not a crook!” claimed Richard Nixon.
When accused, Richard Nixon maintained that he was “not a crook”.