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Home > Language > Grammar > Single and Double Quotes Compared

Difference Between Single and Double Quotes

Single vs Double Quotes

In English language, the use of inverted commas or quotation marks as they are popularly known as is very common. These can be single or double quotation and people hardly notice the difference. In general, these quotation marks are used when quoting something said by someone (quoting him). Quotation marks can be curly or straight with the straight ones being more common in typewriters.

Quotation mark is used to indicate direct speech, and it is there at the beginning and at the end to distinguish direct speech from the rest of the sentence. The sentence in between quotation marks is made up of exactly what the speaker said. In US and Canada, it is double quotation mark that is used while, in UK, it is single quotation mark that is used for the same purpose. Interestingly, it is referred to as inverted commas and not as quotation marks in Britain. Whether one calls them quotation marks or inverted commas, these single or double marks make up for a very important punctuation mark that lets readers differentiate between direct and indirect speech.

Single or double quotation marks are also seen in the use of nicknames, titles, headlines of a newspaper, and expressing irony.

Single Quotes vs Double Quotes

A quotation mark can be made with single comma or double commas and both are acceptable. There are no hard and fast rule requiring people to use one or the other style, and it is a matter of choice though people in US and Canada make use of double quotation while people in UK and the rest of the commonwealth make use of single quotation mark. In Britain, these quotation marks are referred to as inverted commas. Common sense says one should be consistent in a piece of writing when it comes to using single quotation or double quotation.


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