Quotation Marks

Quotation marks, also known as inverted commas or speech marks, play an important role in highlighting spoken language, quotes or titles within a body of text.

Their main function is to represent the exact language (either spoken or written) that originated from somewhere outside of the text itself.

There are two types of quotation marks:

  • Double quotes (“)
  • Single quotes (‘)

Double Quotation Marks

Double quotation marks are used to mark the beginning and end of a passage that represents spoken language, direct quotations, or specific phrases and words. Their purpose is to indicate the exact language that was spoken or written by someone else.

  • Example 1 – Direct Speech: Double quotation marks encase the exact words someone has said. “She said, ‘I will be there tomorrow.'”
  • Example 2 – Direct Quotation: When quoting material from a source, use double quotation marks to signify the quoted text. According to the report, “Climate change has severe impacts on the global ecosystem.”
  • Example 3 – Irony or Unusual Usage: Double quotes can be used to emphasise a word or phrase to signal that it is being used in an ironic or unusual way. He was the “life” of the party, sitting alone in a corner the entire night.

Single Quotation Marks

Single quotation marks are generally used within double quotation marks to indicate a quotation within a quotation. This is when a character is speaking and quoting someone else’s speech.

  • For example: “I heard her shout, ‘I can’t make it.'”

We can also use single quotation marks to denote definitions, translations or specific titles within a sentence.

  • For example: He said that the word ‘serendipity’ means finding something good without looking for it.

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