Quotation mark

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Punctuation

Quotation marks or inverted commas (informally referred to as quotes[1] and speech marks) are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, a phrase, or a word. They come as a pair of opening and closing marks in either of two styles: single ('…') or double ("…").

Depending on the typeface, opening and closing quotation marks may be identical in form (called vertical, straight, or typewriter quotation marks), or they may be distinctly left-handed and right-handed (typographic or, colloquially, curly quotation marks). The closing single quotation mark is identical or similar in form to the apostrophe, and similar to the prime symbol. These three characters have quite different purposes, however. See also ditto mark.

Contents

Usage

Quotations and speech

Single or double quotation marks denote either speech or a quotation. Neither style—single or double—is an absolute rule, though double quotation marks are preferred in the United States, and both single and double quotation marks are used in the United Kingdom. A publisher’s or author’s style may take precedence over national general preferences. The important rule is that the style of opening and closing quotation marks must be matched:

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