We see several sentences wrapped in quotation marks in books, articles and blogs. Quite obviously, we do not focus on them a lot because it is the content that interests us. But what if people did use this punctuation? Would the sentences be as comprehensible as they are?
Most definitely not! Just as the other punctuation marks provide a reader with more clarity about the content, so do quotation marks. Although it does cause some perplexity when we have to use them, many times, we don’t cognize the difference between Single and Double Quotation marks and may use it wrong.
Let us then once and for all resolve the single and double quotation marks dilemma.
How to use quotation marks?
To begin with, one needs to know that both American and British English have different techniques of using this punctuation. American standardizes the use of double quotation marks for all dialogues, and a single quotation mark to quote something within that quotation.
Let’s wipe that confusion off with this example. “Sammy won the title of ‘Miss Manhattan’ for two consecutive years,” the anchor announced.
Observe the above sentence to fathom how to use these punctuation marks appropriately. The sentence, which we call direct speech, is enclosed within double quotation marks. Then again, ‘Miss Manhattan’ is within single quotation marks, as it is something of emphasis within the main quote.
One the other hand, if you have to emphasize something in a heading, then it is best to go with the single inverted comma (as titled in British English).
When using the American style, make sure, that you even place the comma inside these quotation marks, as opposed to the outside (as in the example above). The comma before the word ‘anchor’ is placed within the marks. British English style agrees with placing this comma outside these inverted commas.
Why do we use them?
Punctuation marks always aid a reader in understanding the context of the sentence as intended. We use these marks to quote someone, i.e. to state a sentence said by someone else. When you want to draw attention on a particular part of the sentence, then we use the double ones.
So see, now that you know the right technique, it will not confuse you the next time when you have to use it. But for your benefit, here are some more examples.
Example Sentences: American
- My mother said, “The baby started talking today. The baby said, ‘Mama.’
- The teacher asked us, “How many of you have read the story ‘The Brown Horse’ in your textbook?”
- The author read a passage from her new book, “The night was cold and dark. ‘I feel scared,’ said Jenny as they headed into the haunted house.”
- ” ‘The Red Balloon’ is my favorite story,” my father said.
- What is the definition of “quotations”?
Example Sentences: Britsh English
- ‘He said, and I quote, “The mailman loves you.” ‘
- ‘Economic systems’, according to Professor White, ‘are an inevitable product of civilization, and as John Doe said, “with us whether we want them or not” ‘.
- Her daughter asked, ‘Why did you call that man “idiot”?’
- Sam exclaimed, ‘Joe was at the store and bumped into Alexa. When he saw her, he said, “I hope we’ll see you at the party next Friday,” but she didn’t know anything about it!’
- Jason told Mark, ‘I saw Cynthia the other day, and she said, “I’m really looking forward to Mark’s graduation!”‘
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