An "inverted comma" is sometimes used in the United Kingdom as a quotation mark: She said, 'Yes, that would be lovely.' is often used instead of "double style" .
You're probably familiar with quotation marks - those double scoops in the air, used before and after we relay something someone said or wrote, verbatim. Pretty standard in writing (and air quotes). But how about their slimmer offshoot, single quotation marks?
You're not going to find a ton of rules for using single quotation marks. They simply aren't used that frequently. Even though there aren't many rules, these little guys can come in handy and are still worth a quick conversation. So let's talk.
We weren't kidding when we said there aren't many rules. In fact, there are really only two to keep in mind. One involves the more familiar double quotation marks, and the other has to do with headlines.
The most common use of the single quotation mark is when you're quoting someone within a quotation. You've probably seen this format used in different types of essays, books, interviews, and news stories.
Here are some examples to make you more familiar with this primary use of single quotation marks:
Sam exclaimed, "Joe was at the store and bumped into Alexa. When he saw her, he said, 'I hope we'll see you at the party next Friday,' but she didn't know anything about it!"
The news reporter said, "All of the stores on the block have burned down. One shop owner screamed, 'I cannot believe this as happening!' as the flames engulfed her store."
Jason told Mark, "I saw Cynthia the other day, and she said, 'I'm really looking forward to Mark's graduation!'"
Her daughter asked, "Why did you call that man 'idiot'?"
There aren't many worksheets to help students practice using single quotation marks so try these tips for finding and creating grammar worksheets for single quotation marks. They'll help you master single quotation marks with ease!
In a headline single quotation marks are used in place of the standard double quotation marks. So, if the headline includes the title of a song, short story, or a quotation, you would use single quotation marks. Generally, you'll see this used when the headline is in reference to something someone said.
In the Words of The Beatles, 'Let it Be'
The President Urges, 'Don't worry America'
Heroic Mom: 'I did it for my kids'
'No More Taxes' Promises Candidate
In British usage single quotation marks are used to mark direct speech (with speech within speech marked with double quotation marks) or set off a specific word.
Sometimes you might see a term formatted in single quotation marks in a specific discipline, particularly philosophy or theology. You may be reading a British text, but often specialist terms that are unique to a subject are enclosed in single quotation marks in both American and British English.
If you're writing in a specific discipline, check with the guidelines of the institution or publication for which you are writing.
The next time you want to quote someone within a quote, call upon your friend, the single quotation mark. That's probably the most likely scenario where you'll come upon the single quotation mark.
To beef up your quotation expertise further, learn how to use punctuation correctly with quotation marks. That will help you become an active user of these punctuation marks, instead of a passive observer.
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No punctuation mark should be used if it is not necessary. There is one situation in which the use of single quotes instead of double quotes can be rather a.
Picture this: A music reviewer makes a reference to the song “Space Truckin’” by Deep Purple.
You want to quote him on it. Specifically, you want to quote a sentence in which the writer just happened to put the song title at the end.
Which of the following punctuation options would you choose?
Jones wrote, “I used to love the song ‘Space Truckin’.’”
Jones wrote, “I used to love the song ‘Space Truckin.’’”
Jones wrote, “I used to love the song ‘Space Truckin.’”
I know what you’re thinking: You’d recast the sentence. That’s just plain smart. The alternative, clearly, can induce a brain hemorrhage.
But the point of this grammar column isn’t “Meh. Just say it another way.” Our goal is to understand the rules and how to apply them in the toughest situations. But even by our standards at Brain Hemorrhages ‘R’ Us, this situation is tough.
To know how to punctuate that sentence, you need to understand apostrophes, single quotation marks, regular quotation marks, the rules for where to put a period relative to quotation marks and the rules for where to put a period relative to an apostrophe.
Let’s start with the easy part. When an apostrophe represents a dropped letter, it works like that letter. It stays with the word: truckin’.
The apostrophe is no more separable from the word than the letter G: trucking. The period comes after the G, so it’s the same for the apostrophe when you drop the G: truckin’.
If that apostrophe were a single quotation mark, the period would come before it.
That’s the rule in American English: the period or comma always comes before the closing double or single quotation mark: He used the word “stewardess.” She said, “When you call me ‘stewardess,’ it sounds old-fashioned.”
Single quote marks, of course, go inside regular quote marks. You use them when you’re quoting someone who himself is saying something that goes in quotes. Bob said, “I watch a lot of ‘Family Guy’ reruns.”
Single quotation marks are not half-strength quotation marks. You don’t use them when you sort of want to call attention to a word but not too much attention. That’s a regular quotation mark’s job: Brett’s “brilliance” is greatly overstated.
The only weird rule involving single quote marks is that many news media use them in place of regular quotation marks in headlines.
It’s a visual thing, rooted in the idea that headlines should be as uncluttered as possible.
You might be wondering: Do the titles of TV shows, movies and songs go in quotation marks? That’s not a right-or-wrong thing. That’s an editing style thing.
You can put them in italics if you like. But if you prefer to mimic the pros, note that Chicago style puts TV show titles and movie titles in italics, while song titles go in quotation marks. The Associated Press Stylebook puts all these in quotation marks.
In our Deep Purple example, our song title is in quotation marks. That’s how we ended up with such a hard-to-punctuate sentence, with an apostrophe, a single closing quotation mark and a double closing quotation mark all at the end.
Now that you’re refreshed on the rules necessary to puzzle this out, back to our brain hemorrhage.
The apostrophe in truckin’ is followed by the period because the apostrophe is part of the word.
The single quotation mark comes after the period because that’s the rule in American English.
The double quote mark comes next, because double quotation marks enclose single quotation marks.
Add those up and you get: apostrophe, period, single quotation mark, double quotation mark. In our choices above, the first example was the right one.
Jones wrote, “I used to love the song ‘Space Truckin’.’”
I hope that was worth the brain injury.
JUNE CASAGRANDE is the author of “The Best Punctuation Book, Period.” She can be reached at [email protected]
Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope
A single quote may refer to any of the following:
1. Sometimes referred to as an apostrophe, a single quote is a punctuation symbol that is found on the United States QWERTY keyboard next to the Enter key.
Below is an overview of a computer keyboard with the single quote key highlighted in blue.
To create the quote symbol using a U.S. keyboard and press the single quote key, which is on the same key as the quote ( " ) and typically to the left of the Enter key.
To create a quote symbol on a smartphone or tablet open the keyboard and go into the numbers (123) or symbols (sym) section and then press your finger on the " symbol.
In computer programming single quotes are commonly used to contain commands or literal strings.my $example = "Example of variable";
In the above example, the variable $example would not be treated as a variable, instead it would print "Do not print $example". If you used quotes instead of a single quote, it would print "Do not print Example of variable".
2. In programming languages like QBasic, the single quote is treated as a nonexecutable statement.
Back quote, Keyboard terms, Quote
Single quotes (sometimes written as apostrophe characters) are also called 'half- quotes' Single quotes are used within a quote when quoting someone who is.
A quick search turned up this similar question on another site.
In short, quotes within quotes are the main usage of enclosing single quotes. Another common usage is for quotes in a title or headline. Of course, the same character is used for apostrophes when typing, as the QWERTY keyboard has never had separate keys for an apostrophe and a single quote (the look of which CAN differ subtly depending on the typeface).
According to this other page, in British English, single-quotes and double-quotes have historically been reversed in terms of preference; normally, quotations should be enclosed in single quotes, and double-quotes are used for internal quotations. This preference is still present but fading in the UK, and American usage has always preferred double-quotes for the initial quotation and single for internal quotes.
Unofficially, I have sometimes seen single quotes used to denote thought instead of speech. More commonly, the thought is italicized, or no formatting is applied at all; these styles are more correct, and if you had written a manuscript employing single quotes in this manner, they'd likely be removed or replaced by your editor or typesetter.
A quick search turned up this similar question on another site. In short, quotes within quotes are the main usage of enclosing single quotes.