Standard Quotation Format in MLA

If I were to have a quote and there were a contraction in it, would I need to put brackets around the de-contracted word or can I just de-contract it.

For example: He said, “I’ll go to the store tomorrow.”

Would I de-contract it the first or second way in MLA format?

“[I will] go to the store tomorrow.”


“I will go to the store tomorrow.”


I wouldn’t de-contract it, as the contracted form is perfectly valid and understandable. But if I did expand out a contraction or acronym I would use [].

Note that if something was said in speech, the [] is not needed as it can validly be expanded as normal speech always leaves bits out (elides things) and we are not usually even aware of this. If the non-standard contraction is retained it is for effect. If a non-native speaker uses something in appropriate the choice is leave it (and mark it with sic) or replace it (and mark it with []) or rewrite it as an indirect quotation (and mark this by omitting the “”).

“I wanna go to the store tomorrow”.

in speech –> text for the first time “I want to go to the store tomorrow”

in text –> corrected text for MLA “I [want to] go to the store tomorrow”
in text –> sicced text for MLA “I wanna (sic) go to the store tomorrow”

but the [] still seems a bit pedantic, and the (sic) a bit rude, to me personally.

I would either leave it or expand it without mark up if I had to have it as a quote, and if I had to have it, it means the form is important and I would leave it. Otherwise I would make it an indirect quote.

Source : Link , Question Author : Morella Almånd , Answer Author : David M W Powers

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