Difference Between Inverted Commas and Quotation Marks

Main Difference – Inverted Commas vs Quotation Marks

The terms inverted commas and quotation marks are two terms that are often used to refer to the punctuation mark “ ”.  Many of you might ponder over the difference between inverted commas and quotation marks. In fact, inverted commas and quotation marks refer to the same punctuation mark; speech marks, quote, quotation marks and inverted marks are synonyms. But it is important to realize that inverted commas or quotation marks can be either single or double. (‘’ or “”)

Main Uses of Inverted Commas/Quotation Marks

Inverted commas are mainly used to introduce quotations or direct speech. This is why the name quotation mark is used as a synonym for inverted commas. A direct quote (the exact words spoken or written) must be always written inside quotation marks.

“I don’t like her. She laughs like a baboon,” he complained.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” – Mark Twain

“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” – Mahatma Gandhi

We also use inverted commas to mark off words or a phrase that is being discussed, or that is borrowed from somewhere else.

Do you know what is an ‘integrated circuit’ is?

This theory is known as ‘the Quantum theory.’

Sometimes inverted commas are also used to draw attention to a skeptic or ironic remark. They might indicate that the writer is indicating the exact opposite of what he has written.

Thank you so much for your “help”.

Jake wanted to share his “wisdom” with others.

Quotation marks can be also used to refer to titles of different works.

Please refer to “Key Skills Online” section for more information.

“I wondered lonely as a cloud” is a poem written by Wordsworth.Difference Between Inverted Commas and Quotation Marks

Single vs Double Quotes

In the above examples, you might have noticed that some examples contain single quotes whereas some use double quotes. Many new grammar guides indicate there is no strict rule for this usage. However, it is important to note that double quotes are more preferred in American English whereas British English prefers single quotes.

Whatever the style you use, you must be consistent in your writing; otherwise, your readers might get confused. If you have used double quotation marks for direct quotes, you can use single quotation marks to indicate quotations within quotations.

She narrated, “I was just coming out of the house when the man shouted ‘watch out.’ I just ran inside.”

“The woman in the blue dress shouted ‘get out of here.’ I thought she was talking to me.” he explained.

Inverted Commas and Quotation Marks – Summary

  • Inverted Commas and Quotation Marks both refer to the same punctuation mark.
  • They can either single (‘’) or double (“”).
  • They are used to indicate direct quotations, to indicate the titles of works to or to draw focus to a particular word or phrase in a sentence.

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