Single and double quotation marks

Whether a publication uses single or double quotation marks is a matter of their own choosing. Some style guides or house styles have indications, but these are flexible.

However, if a publication, author, writer, etc, uses either single or double quotation marks, then if there is a quotation within that quoted phrase, the opposite should be used. I’ll give a couple of examples below:

  • I refer to Shakespeare, who once said: ʻThe lady doth protest too much.’ But she didnt!
  • ʻYou told me on the phone, “I was sleeping”, but clearly you weren’t.’

Basically, if single quotation marks are used for the initial quote, then double quotation marks should be used for any quote within, and vice versa.

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