First things first, it all depends on where you live. Whilst Americans, Aussies, Canadians, Kiwis and the British all speak English, they are divided in the way they use their quotation marks. It might not seem like a big deal but if you are writing a CV, University entrance letter or important email, it could make all the difference. Find out more about the impact of your spelling and grammar here.

What are they

No matter where you live or whether you use a double or a single quotation mark, they all mean the same thing. Quotation marks are a form of punctuation that indicates direct speech, a quotation or a phrase. There is always an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark to indicate where the speech, quote or phrase starts and ends.

How to use them

The British, Australians and New Zealanders use the single quotation mark ( ‘ ’ ) as their primary and the double quotation mark as their secondary ( “ ” ). In contrast, Americans and Canadians use the double as their primary and the single as their secondary.

Examples

  1. ‘Annabelle said she loves Craig's mustache’ (UK, AUS, NZ)
    “Annabelle said she loves Craig's mustache” (USA, CAN)
  2. ‘I cannot believe Mr Sketchley told me that I had “no idea” how to use quotation marks!’ (UK, AUS, NZ)
    “I cannot believe Mr Sketchley told me that I had ‘no idea’ how to use quotation marks!” (USA, CAN)
  3. ‘Jin told Nick that “Belle's Hot Chicken makes the best chicken burgers”, we have to try them next Friday.’
    “Jin told Nick that ‘Belle's Hot Chicken makes the best chicken burgers’, we have to try them next Friday.”

Same same but different.

To learn more about writing, check out our articles on Similes and [Rhetorical questions](https://blog.gradeproof.com/why-you-need-to-be-using-rhetorical-questions-in-your-writing/

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