#GrammarTrivia: Single and double quotation marks

Alright, let’s begin today’s session with the difference between single (‘) and double quotation (“) mark! How do you use these two different marks in English? Well, first let’s study the American way.

In American English, there are 3 ways to use the double quotation mark:

1. To indicate that someone is saying something.


  • ‘“This is where we can buy organic and halal meat, said Mother.’

2. To indicate that a word is being said in a “special” way, e.g., as a sarcasm.


  • ‘Don’t you just “love” it when someone steal your favorite seat in the bus?’

3. To indicate that a word is being used as an example.


  • ‘You need to learn to differentiate between “your” and “you’re” in order to score higher in TOEFL.’

Well, how about British and Australian English? How do they use single or double quotation mark?

British and Australian English tend to use the single quotation mark more than double quotation mark. It is common to find a dialogue that is written as ‘Good morning, Mother’ in British and Australian texts. American, British, and Australian English all recognize the use of both marks. They can appear in the same text together.

Important note: For a quote within quote, always use the two different kinds of quotation marks, but first decide if you want to write in American or British style.


  • ‘“Why did you just call your brother a ‘pig’? That is very rude,” she said.’

Keep your questions coming!

Resource: scribenditheyuniversity

Compiled and written by animenur for EnglishTips4U on Sunday, 24 August 2014



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