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Rules For Using Single Quotation Marks

How do you know when to use single quotation marks? If you struggle to recall the rules, refresh your memory of punctuation rules with this guide.

2:59 min read
  Yigal Ben Efraim  —  Grammar Tips
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When it comes to punctuation rules, even the most experienced writers have hesitations. These rules are vague. So, if you found yourself doubting whether you need that quotation mark and which one should go there, read the following recommendations. Although every case is specific, some general overview of single quotation marks use will come in handy.


Most of us do not pay attention to the quotation marks that we see in the newspapers, books, or magazines. However, these have types. Strict rules dictate the use of single quotation marks or double ones.

What is the purpose of putting quotation marks?

Plagiarism is a big deal when it comes to academic writing. Previously, people built their careers on stolen ideas, and with the introduction of some punctuation rules, the academic community is trying to eliminate that issue. When you write a paper, you use ideas and arguments to support them. Every idea should be cited, meaning that the author should be identified. If you decide to put the direct speech then the rules say that you need to use the corresponding to the formatting style punctuation to highlight it. Citing the words of the person directly without introducing any changes is called verbatim.

How to differentiate between single and double quotation marks?

Among the factors you need to take into account - is the target audience. English is spoken in many countries and the specific audience is used to certain punctuation rules. If you are writing a blog post for an Australian magazine, opt for using SQM everywhere. It is normal for them to do so. However, if you are creating a material for the scholarly community, refer to the standard requirements provided by the establishment that publishes your work.

Misconceptions about quotation marks

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to punctuation. Here is the list of interesting facts related to quotation marks:

Examples of SQM and DQM usage


The usage of quotation marks is something you need to know by heart, like an alphabet. It is not an interesting or funny thing to learn, the topic is a dull piece of material. However, once you learn these rules, you can always be on the safe side.

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1 Comment
  • bso118
    I understand the concept but would appreciate more examples.

    I recently commented on a post on this website. I will share what I wrote and would appreciate if someone would let me know if I used the single quotation marks correctly. (Also, if I'd just said, "...If I used the 'SQM' correctly" if this is an example of correctly used single quotation marks.)

    Here is the comment I shared where the uncertainty of the correct usage exists:
    "I enjoyed the breakdown of the usages, acceptability and correctness in usage of either option. I'm gathering that until 'moreso' becomes a more common and accepted version of 'more so' that it's best to use 'more so' in the professional capacity. Is this a wise assumption, or do you believe this is an unnecessary assumption? I would appreciate the thoughts and opinions from those who are qualified to give educated and professional insight into this matter."
    LikeReply9 months ago


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