The KISS Resource Books Back to April Menu
Notes for
Exercise # 11 Based on
The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, by Beatrix Potter

A. Briefly explain why Beatrix Potter used quotation marks in each of the following sentences:

1. They were generally called the "Flopsy Bunnies."

This one is interesting because names are not normally put in quotation marks. They are probably used here to indicate that "Flopsy" is not simply an adjective, but also the name that they were called.

2. "One, two, three, four! five! six leetle rabbits!" said he.

The quotation marks indicate his exact words, including his pronunciation of "little" as "leetle."

3. She said that Mr. McGregor had "done it a purpose." [Why isn't "Mr. McGregor" inside the quotation marks?]

The words "done it a purpose" are her exact words, but "Mr. McGregor" may not be. She may have said "He done it a purpose."

B. Commas are used to separate items in a series. Why did Potter use a comma after "hood," but not after "cloak," or "muff"?
But next Christmas Thomasina Tittlemouse got a present of enough rabbit-wool to make herself a cloak and a hood, and a handsome muff and a pair of warm mittens.
The "missing" commas connect things that go together. Thus the "cloak" and "hood" are a set for the body and head, whereas the "muff" and "mittens" are a set for the hands. The items are not four equal things, but two sets of two.