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Quotation marks

Quotation marks (‘….’) (”…..”) — Direct speech

We use quotation marks or inverted commas to quote direct speech.

There is no real difference between single quotation marks (‘…’), and double quotation marks (”…”), except for the fact that the latter is more popular in American English and the former (single quotation marks) are more commonly used in British English.

Another reason for the two types is that when we want to insert a quotation inside a quotation, you would start with the double and insert the single inside. Examples to follow.

  • He said, ‘let me be’.
  • My father told me, ‘I won’t be arriving late’.
  • ‘Give me a break’, the man told his customer gently.
  • ”The last thing Jake told me was, ‘I don’t belong here’, he said”. *’I don’t belong here is a quote within a quote, therefore, we use two sets of quotes, one for outer sentence and one for the inner sentence.
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Quotation marks (‘…’)(”…..”) — Emphasising special words

Quotation marks, either single or double, can be used to emphasise a special word(s) or expression within a sentence.

Note, quoting a word can also be very derogatory or thinking less of someone or something, that is, discrediting them or it.

  • China’s ‘economy’ is huge and growing at an exponential rate.
  • Don’t ever call me a ‘bitch’. That word is very offensive.
  • My client was somewhat ‘taken aback’ to see me arrive so early.
  • The demagogue uttered his sheer ‘disbelief’ as he saw the object. Hardly believable.
  • The so-called ‘politician’ is a disgrace and corrupt.
  • My ‘teacher’ has zero knowledge of the subject.

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