Quotation Marks

Quotation Marks

Quotation marks (“...”) and inverted commas (‘...’), (or double quotation marks (“...”) and single quotation marks (‘...’) in American English), have different rules in comparison with each other. As always, consistency is important. Choose the style that you like better, and stick to it.

Inhalt

  • Direct Speech
  • Titles, Words and Letters
  • Nicknames

Direct Speech

British English

In British English, use inverted commas around quotes or direct speech, and double quotation marks to enclose a quote within a quote.

Example:
He told me, ‘And then Mary said,“ Annabell, you simply cannot park here. It's illegal!” She's such a goodie two-shoes.’

American English

In American English, use quotation marks around quotes or direct speech, and inverted commas to enclose a quote within quote.

Example:
He told me, “And then Mary said, ‘Annabell, you simply cannot park here. It's illegal!’ She's such a goodie two-shoes.”

Punctuation Rules

British EnglishAmerican English

When the punctuation belongs to the quoted sentence or phrase, it should be placed within the quotation marks, otherwise it must fall outside them.

All commas and full stops should be placed within the quotation marks. All other punctuation follows the British rule.

‘The best advice I can give you’, she said while gazing out the window, ‘is to follow your heart’.

“The best advice I can give you,” she said while gazing out the window, “is to follow your heart.”

‘Do you know the muffin man?’ he asked me. ‘He lives on lollipop lane. Amazing!’

“Do you know the muffin man?” he asked me. “He lives on lollipop lane. Amazing!”

He asked me, ‘Did you hear her say “God save the Queen!”?’

He asked me, “Did you hear her say ‘God save the Queen!’?”

Titles, Words and Letters

Use inverted commas around titles or when referring to specific words or letters. For this purpose, some writers use italics instead of inverted commas. Both options are correct. Choose the one you like and stick to it.

Example:
Shakespeare’s most famous play is ‘Romeo and Juliette’.
You forgot the ‘u’ in ‘colour’, or is that just American spelling?

Nicknames

Use quotation marks when writing a nickname within a person’s real name.

Example:
William ‘Bob’ Johnson
Harry ‘Bing’ Crosby