Supposing, there is a sentence:

For example, if parents ask their son or daughter: “There are 10 ballerinas at the theater but all of female dancers have gone on the tour. How many ballerinas remained at the theater?”, a child will respond expectedly: “I do not know”.

There are two colons, which, I think, is not an idea to get away with. Could you, please, suggest proper punctuation here?

1 Answer 1


You use a colon when there is a complete sentence before the quote.

Parents might test their children by asking logical puzzles: "There are 10..."

When the quote is embedded in a sentence, don't use a colon. If there is an introductory phrase with "says" or "asks", use a comma.

If parents ask their son or daughter, “There are 10..."

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