Quotation marks, also called quotes, quote marks, quotemarks, speech marks, inverted commas or talking marks, are punctuation marks used in pairs in various writing systems to set off direct speech, a quotation, or a phrase. The pair consists of an opening quotation mark and a closing quotation mark, which may or may not be the same character.
Quotation marks have a variety of forms in different languages and in different media.
The double quotation mark is older than the single. It derives from a marginal notation used in fifteenth-century manuscript annotations to indicate a passage of particular importance (not necessarily a quotation); the notation was placed in the outside margin of the page and was repeated alongside each line of the passage. By the middle sixteenth century, printers (notably in Basel, Switzerland) had developed a typographic form of this notation, resembling the modern double quotation mark pointing to the right. During the seventeenth century this treatment became specific to quoted material, and it grew common, especially in Britain, to print quotation marks (now in the modern opening and closing forms) at the beginning and end of the quotation as well as in the margin; the French usage (see under Specific language features below) is a remnant of this. In most other languages, including English, the marginal marks dropped out of use in the last years of the eighteenth century. The usage of a pair of marks, closing and opening, at the level of lower case letters was generalized.
By the nineteenth century, the design and usage began to be specific within each region. In Western Europe the usage became to use the quotation marks in pairs but "pointing" outside. In Britain those marks were elevated to the same height of the top of capital letters (“…”). In France, by the end of the nineteenth century those marks were modified to a more angular shape («…»). Some authors claim that the reason for this was a practical one, in order to get a character that was clearly distinguishable from the apostrophes, the commas and the parenthesis (also, in other scripts, the angular quotation marks are distinguishable from other punctuation characters—the Greek breathing marks, the Armenian emphasis and apostrophe, the Arabic comma, decimal separator, thousands separator, etc.).
Other authors claim that the reason for this was an aesthetic one. The elevated quotation marks created an extra white space before and after the word that was considered aesthetically unpleasing, while the in-line quotation marks helped to maintain the typographical color, since the quotation marks had the same height and were aligned with the lower case letters. Nevertheless, while other languages do not insert a space between the quotation marks and the word(s), the French usage does insert them, even if it is a narrow space.
The curved quotation marks (“…”) usage was exported to some non-Latin scripts, notably where there was some English influence (for instance, in Indian scripts). The angular quotation marks («…») usage was exported to some non-Latin scripts, like Greek, Cyrillic, Arabic and Ethiopic. The Far East angle brackets quotation marks (《…》) are also a development of the in-line angular quotation marks.
In Central Europe, however, the practice was to use the quotation marks in pairs but "pointing" inside. The German tradition preferred the curved quotation marks, the first one at the level of the commas, the second one at the level of the apostrophes („…“). Alternatively, these marks still "pointed" inside but could be angular and in-line with lower case letters (»…«). Some neighboring regions adopted the German tradition but some others adopted the second (closing) mark as "pointing" to the right („…”).
In Sweden (and Finland), both marks "pointed" to the right but both were at the top level (”…”), neither at the bottom.
In Eastern Europe there was a hesitation between the French tradition («…») and the German tradition („…“). The French tradition prevailed in North-Eastern Europe (Russia, Ukraine and Belarus), whereas the German tradition (or its modified version with the closing mark pointing to the right) has become dominant in South-Eastern Europe (the Balkan countries).
The single quotation mark emerged around 1800 as a means of indicating a secondary level of quotation. One could expect that the logic would be the corresponding single mark everywhere but it was not the case. British English tends to reverse the usage—single quotation marks (‘…’) are primary, and double quotation marks (“…”) are secondary—this distinction, however, dating back to around the 1960s. In some languages using the angular quotation marks, the usage of single ones (‹…›) became obsolete, being replaced by double curved ones (“…”); the single ones still survive, for instance, in Switzerland. In Eastern Europe, where there was a hesitation between the French and German tradition, the curved quotation marks („…“) are used as a secondary level when the angular marks («…») are used as a primary level.
In English writing, quotation marks are placed in pairs around a word or phrase to indicate:
In American English, double quotes are used normally (the "primary" style). If quote marks are used inside another pair of quote marks, then single quotes are used as the "secondary" style. For example: "Didn't she say 'I like red best' when I asked her wine preferences?" he asked his guests.
If another set of quotes is nested, double quotes are used again, and they continue to alternate as necessary (though this is rarely done). British English tends to have the opposite convention – single quotes are primary, and double quotes are secondary; however, this distinction dates back only to around the 1960s. Earlier British usage was often identical to American. Different varieties of English have different rules regarding whether neighboring punctuation should be written inside or outside the quotation marks.
Regarding the aspect, there are two types of quotation marks:
Because most of the computer keyboards lack keys to directly enter typographic quotation marks, much typed writing has vertical quotation marks. The "smart quotes" feature in some computer software can convert vertical quotation marks to curly ones, although sometimes imperfectly.
The closing single quotation mark is identical or similar in form (depending on the font) to the apostrophe and similar to the prime symbol. The double quotation mark is identical to the ditto mark and similar to—and often used to represent—the double prime symbol. However, all of these three characters have quite different purposes.
Other languages have similar conventions to English, but use different symbols or different placement.
|Language||Standard||Alternative||Spacing||Names, notes & references|
|Amharic||«…»||‹…›||||“…”||‘…’||||ትምህርተ ጥቅስ (timihirite t’ik’isi)|
|Arabic|| «…» || ”…“ ||optional||علامات تنصيص (ʻalāmāt tanṣīṣ, quotation marks)
The direction of text is right-to-left.
|Armenian||«…»||չակերտներ (chakertner, quotation marks)|
|Azerbaijani||«…»||‹…›||“…”||‘…’||0–1 pt||Dırnaq işarəsi (fingernail mark)|
|Belarusian||«…»||“…”||||Двукоссе (Dvukosse, double commas)
Лапкі (Lapky, little paws)
|Bosnian||”…” or „…”||’…’||„…“||»…«||navodnici, znaci navoda, polunavodnici, Cyrillic script: Наводници, знаци навода, полунаводници, »…« only in printed media|
„…“ is often incorrectly replaced by "…" or “…”
’…’ and ‘…’ are often incorrectly written as '…', ‘…’ or ‛…’
|Catalan||«…»||“…”||[c][d]||“…”||‘…’||[c]||none||«…» Cometes franceses (French quotation marks)
“…” Cometes angleses (English quotation marks)
‘…’ Cometes simples (Simple quotation marks)
|[e]||Fullwidth form||“…” 双引号 (pinyin: shuāngyǐnhào, double quotation mark)
‘…’ 单引号 (pinyin: dānyǐnhào, single quotation mark)
|[f]||Fullwidth form||「」︰單引號 (Mandarin: dān yǐn hào, Jyutping: daan1 jan5 hou6, lit: "Single quotation mark")
|Croatian||„…”||‘…’||[c]||»…«||„…” and »…« Navodnici
»…« are used only in printed media
|Danish||»…« or „…“||›…‹ or ‚…‘||||”…”||’…’||||Citationstegn (citation marks)
Gåseøjne (goose eyes)
|Dutch||„…”||‚…’||||‘…’||“…”||Aanhalingstekens (citation marks)
‘…’ are "scare quotes" (zogenaamdfunctie)
|English, UK||‘…’||“…”||[g]||“…”||‘…’||1–2 pt||Quotation marks, double quotes, quotes, inverted commas, speech marks
Usage of single or double as primary may vary across English varieties.
|English, US; English, Canada||“…”||‘…’||[g]|
|Esperanto||“…”||‘…’||[h]||« … »
There is no standard for quotation marks, and Zamenhof recommended that the writer should use his native language's quotation marks. However, it has become common practice to use the quotation marks of American English.
|Estonian||„…“||«…»||Jutumärgid (speech marks)|
|Finnish||”…”||’…’||||»…»||’…’||||Lainausmerkit (citation marks)|
|French||« … »||« … » or
|[c]||“ … ”||‘ … ’||[c]||¼ em||Guillemets|
|Galician||«…»||“…”||||“…”||‘…’||||Comiñas or Aspas|
|Georgian||„…“||“…”||none||ბრჭყალები (brč’q’alebi, claws)|
|German||„…“||‚…‘||»…«||›…‹||Anführungszeichen (quotation marks)
Gänsefüßchen (little goose feet)
Hochkommas, Hochkommata (high commas)
|Greek||«…»||“…”||||Εισαγωγικά (introductory marks).|
Not to be confused with גֵּרְשַׁיִם gershayim.
|Hindi||“…”||‘…’||||उद्धरण चिह्न (uddharan chihn)|
|Hungarian||„…”||»…«||[c]||"…" Macskaköröm (cat claws – incorrectly used)
„…” Idézőjel (quotation mark)
»…« Belső idézőjel, lúdláb (inner quotation mark, goose feet)
’…’ Félidézőjel (half quotation mark, tertiary quotation mark)
The three levels of Hungarian quotation: „…»…’…’…«…”
|Icelandic||„…“||‚…‘||Gæsalappir (goose feet)|
|Indonesian||“…”||‘…’||Tanda kutip, tanda petik|
|Irish||“…”||‘…’||1–2 pt||Liamóg (William)|
|[f]||「」: 鉤括弧 (kagi kakko, hook bracket)
『』: 二重鉤括弧 (nijū kagi kakko, double hook bracket)
|Khmer||«…»||||“…”||សញ្ញាសម្រង់ (sanhnhea samrong)|
|Korean, North Korea||《…》||〈…〉||〈〉: 홑화살괄호 (hot'hwasalgwalho, arrow bracket)
《》: 겹화살괄호 (gyeop'hwasalgwalho, double arrow bracket)
|Korean, South Korea||“…”
|“”: 쌍따옴표 (ssang-ttaompyo, double quotation mark)
‘’: 따옴표 (ttaompyo, quotation mark)
「」: 낫표 (natpyo, scythe symbol)
『』: 겹낫표 (gyeomnatpyo, double scythe symbol)
|Lao||“…”||ວົງຢືມ (vong yum)|
|Lojban||lu … li'u||lu "…" li'u||Lojban uses the words lu and li'u, rather than punctuation, to surround quotes of grammatically correct Lojban. Double quotes (unnamed in Lojban, but lubu suggested, following same pattern as alphabet) can also be used for aesthetic purposes. Non-Lojban text may be quoted using zoi.|
|Macedonian||„…“||’…‘||||||„…“ Наводници (Navodnitsi, double quote)
’…‘ Полунаводници (Polunavodnitsi, single quote)
|New Tai Lue||《…》||〈…〉|||
|Pashto|| «…» |||
|[m]||Cudzysłów (someone else's word)|
|Portuguese, Brazil||“…”||‘…’||[c]||Aspas; (quotation marks)
Aspas duplas (double quotation marks),
Aspas simples (single quotation marks);
“…” Aspas curvas or aspas inglesas or aspas altas ou levantadas ou elevadas (curved quotation marks),
«…» Aspas angulares or aspas latinas or vírgulas dobradas (angular quotation marks);
«…» Ёлочки (yolochki, little fir trees)
„…“ Лапки (lapki, little paws)
Yolochki are used in print media, while lapki are used in handwriting.
|Serbian||„…“||’…’||Наводници, знаци навода, navodnici, znaci navoda|
|Scottish Gaelic||‘…’||“…”||“…”||‘…’||Cromagan turrach|
«…» Comillas latinas, comillas angulares
“…” Comillas inglesas dobles
‘…’ Comillas inglesas simples
Citattecken (modernised term)
Dubbelfnutt (ASCII double quote)
Kaninöron (bunny ears)
|Thai||“…”||‘…’||อัญประกาศ (anyaprakat, differentiating mark)|
|Turkish||«…»||‹…›||“…”||‘…’||0–1 pt||Tırnak işareti (fingernail mark)|
|Ukrainian||«…»||„…“||„…“||‚…‘||none||Лапки (lapky, little paws)|
|Uyghur|| «…» ||
The direction of text is right-to-left.
|Vietnamese||“…”||||Dấu ngoặc kép (paired parentheses)
Dấu nháy kép (paired blinking marks)
The standard form in the preceding table is taught in schools and used in handwriting. Most large newspapers have kept these „low-high” quotation marks, but otherwise the alternative form with single or double “English-style” quotes is now often the only form seen in printed matter. Neutral quotation marks (" and ') are used widely, especially in texts typed on computers and on websites.
Although not generally common in Dutch any more, double angle quotation marks are still sometimes used in Belgium. Examples include the Flemish HUMO magazine and the Metro newspaper in Brussels.
The symbol used as the left quote in English is sometimes used as the right quote in Germany and Austria (depending on the font), and a quote in a position never found in English usage, called the “low 9 quote,” is used for the left instead:
|Samples||Unicode (decimal)||HTML||Description||Wrong Symbols|
|‚A‘||U+201A (8218), U+2018 (8216)||‚ ‘||German single quotes (left and right)||, – comma (U + 002C) left
' – Apostrophe (U + 0027) right
|„A“||U+201E (8222), U+201C (8220)||„ “||German double quotes (left and right)||" – neutral (vertical) double quotes (U + 0022)|
Some fonts, e.g. Verdana, were not designed with the flexibility to use the English left quote as the German right quote. Such fonts are therefore typographically incompatible with this German usage.
Double quotes are standard for denoting speech in German.
This style of quoting is also used in Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Georgian, Icelandic, Lithuanian, Latvian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Slovene and in Ukrainian. clarification needed] This German double-quote style is also used in the Netherlands, but is falling out of fashion nowadays[when?] with the 'English-style' quotation marks being preferred. However, it still can be found on older shop signs and in most large newspapers.[
Sometimes, especially in novels, the angle quotation mark sets are used in Germany and Austria (albeit in reversed order from French): »A ›B‹?«
In Switzerland, however, the French-style angle quotation mark sets are also used for German printed text: «A ‹B›?»
In Finnish and Swedish, right quotes called citation marks, ”...”, are used to mark both the beginning and the end of a quote. Double right-pointing angular quotes, »…», can also be used.
Alternatively, an en-dash followed by a (non-breaking) space can be used to denote the beginning of quoted speech, in which case the end of the quotation is not specifically denoted (see section Quotation dash below). A line-break should not be allowed between the en-dash and the first word of the quotation.
|’A’||U+2019 (8217)||’||Secondary level quotation|
|”A”||U+201D (8221)||”||Primary level quotation|
|»A»||U+00BB (187)||»||Alternative primary level quotation|
|– A||U+2013 (8211)||–||Alternative denotation at the beginning of quoted speech|
French language uses angle quotation marks (guillemets, or duck-foot quotes), adding a quarter-em space (officially) (U+2005 Four-Per-Em Space (HTML
)) within the quotes. However, many people now use the non-breaking space, because the difference between a non-breaking space and a four-per-em is virtually imperceptible (but also because the Unicode quarter-em space is breakable), and the quarter-em is virtually always omitted in non-Unicode fonts. Even more commonly, many people just put a normal (breaking) space between the quotation marks because the non-breaking space cannot be accessed easily accessible from the keyboard; furthermore, many are simply not aware of this typographical refinement. Using the wrong type of space often results in a quotation mark appearing alone at the beginning of a line, since the quotation mark is treated as an independent word.
Sometimes, for instance on several French news sites such as Libération, Les Échos or Le Figaro, no space is used around the quotation marks. This parallels normal usage in other languages, e.g. Catalan, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or in German, French and Italian as written in Switzerland:
|« A »||U+00AB (171), U+00BB (187)||« »||French double angle quotes (left and right), most usual (approximative) form used today on the web, with normal (half-em) non-breaking spaces.|
|« A »||French double angle quotes (left and right), more exact form used by typographers, with narrow (quarter-em) non-breaking spaces.|
|«A»||non-French double angle quotes (left and right) without space (not recommended)|
|‹ A ›||U+2039 (8249), U+203A (8250)||‹ ›||French single angle quotes (left and right), alternate form for embedded quotations, used on the web with normal non-breaking spaces.|
|‹ A ›||French single angle quotes (left and right), alternate form for embedded quotations, preferably used by typographers with narrow non-breaking spaces.|
Initially, the French guillemet characters were not angle shaped but also used the comma (6/9) shape. They were different from English quotes because they were standing (like today's guillemets) on the baseline (like lowercase letters), and not above it (like apostrophes and English quotation marks) or hanging down from it (like commas). At the beginning of the nineteenth century, this shape evolved to look like (( small parentheses )). The angle shape appeared later to increase the distinction and avoid confusions with apostrophes, commas and parentheses in handwritten manuscripts submitted to publishers. Unicode currently does not provide alternate codes for these 6/9 guillemets on the baseline, which are still considered as form variants implemented in older French typography (such as the Didot font design). Also there was not necessarily any distinction of shape between the opening and closing guillemets, with both types pointing to the right (like today's French closing guillemets).
They must be used with non-breaking spaces (preferably narrow, if available, i.e. U+202F NNBSP which is missing in most computer fonts but that renderers should be able to render using the same glyph as the breaking "French" thin space U+2009, handling the non-breaking property internally in the text renderer / layout engine, because line-breaking properties are never defined in fonts themselves; such renderers should also be able to infer a half-width space from the glyph assigned to the normal half-em non-breaking space, if the thin space itself is not mapped).
In many printed books, when quotations are spanning multiple lines of text (including multiple paragraphs), an additional closing quotation sign is traditionally used at the beginning of each line continuing a quotation; any right-pointing guillemet at the beginning of a line does not close the current quotation; this convention has been consistently used since the beginning of the 19th century by most book printers (and is still in use today). Note that such insertion of continuation quotation marks will also occur if there's a word hyphenation break. There is still no support for automatic insertion of these continuation guillemets in HTML or CSS and in many word-processors, so these have to be inserted by manual typesetting:
Unlike English, French does not set off unquoted material within a quotation mark by using a second set of quotes. Compare:
For clarity, some newspapers put the quoted material in italics:
The French Imprimerie nationale (cf. Lexique des règles typographiques en usage à l'Imprimerie nationale, presses de l'Imprimerie nationale, Paris, 2002), though, does not use different quotation marks for nesting:
In this case, when there should be two adjacent opening or closing marks, only one is written:
The use of English quotation marks is increasing in French and usually follows English rules, for instance when the keyboard or the software context doesn't allow the utilisation of guillemets. The French news site L'Humanité uses straight quotation marks.
English quotes are also used sometimes for nested quotations:
But the most frequent convention used in printed books for nested quotations is to style them in italics (single quotation marks are much more rarely used, and multiple levels of quotations using the same marks is often considered confusing for readers):
Further, running speech does not use quotation marks beyond the first sentence, as changes in speaker are indicated by a dash, as opposed to the English use of closing and re-opening the quotation. (For other languages employing dashes, see section Quotation dash below.) The dashes may be used entirely without quotation marks as well. In general, quotation marks are extended to encompass as much speech as possible, including not just non-spoken text such as "he said" (as previously noted), but also as long as the conversion extends. The quotation marks end at the last spoken text, however, not extending to the end of paragraphs when the final part is not spoken.
Greek uses angled quotation marks (εισαγωγικά – isagogiká):
and the quotation dash (παύλα – pávla):
which translate to:
A closing quotation mark (») is added to the beginning of each new quoted paragraph.
When quotations are nested, double and then single quotation marks are used:
|«Α»||U+00AB (0171), U+00BB (0187)||« »||Greek first level double quotes (εισαγωγικά)|
|― Α||U+2015 (8213)||―||Greek direct quotation em-dash|
|„A”||U+201E (8222), U+201D (8221)||„ ”||Hungarian first level double quotes (left and right)|
|»A«||U+00BB (0171), U+00AB (0187)||» «||Hungarian second level double quotes (left and right)|
|’A’||U+2019 (8217)||’||Hungarian unpaired quotes signifying "meaning"|
According to current recommendation by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences the main Hungarian quotation marks are comma-shaped double quotation marks set on the base-line at the beginning of the quote and at apostrophe-height at the end of it for first level, inversed »French quotes« without space (the German tradition) for the second level, so the following nested quotation pattern emerges:
… and with third level:
In Hungarian linguistic tradition the meaning of a word is signified by uniform (unpaired) apostrophe-shaped quotation marks:
A quotation dash is also used, and is predominant in belletristic literature.
|‚A’||U+201A (8218), U+2019 (8217)||‚ ’||Polish single quotes (left and right)|
|„A”||U+201E (8222), U+201D (8221)||„ ”||Polish double quotes (left and right)|
|― A||U+2015 (8213)||―||Polish direct quotation em-dash|
|– A||U+2013 (8211)||–||Polish direct quotation en-dash|
According to current PN-83/P-55366 standard from 1983 (but not dictionaries, see below), Typesetting rules for composing Polish text (Zasady składania tekstów w języku polskim) one can use either „ordinary Polish quotes” or «French quotes» (without space) for first level, and ‚single Polish quotes’ or «French quotes» for second level, which gives three styles of nested quotes:
There is no space on the internal side of quote marks, with the exception of ¼ firet (~ ¼ em) space between two quotation marks when there are no other characters between them (e.g. ,„ and ’”).
The above rules have not changed since at least the previous BN-76/7440-02 standard from 1976 and are probably much older.
However, the part of the rules that concerns the use of guillemets conflicts with the Polish punctuation standard as given by dictionaries, including the Wielki Słownik Ortograficzny PWN recommended by the Polish Language Council. The PWN rules state:
In specific uses, guillemets also appear. Guillemet marks pointing inwards are used for highlights and in case a quotation occurs inside a quotation. Guillemet marks pointing outwards are used for definitions (mainly in scientific publications and dictionaries), as well as for enclosing spoken lines and indirect speech, especially in poetic texts.
In Polish books and publications, this style for use of guillemets (also known as »German quotes«) is used almost exclusively. In addition to being standard for second level quotes, guillemet quotes are sometimes used as first level quotes in headings and titles but almost never in ordinary text in paragraphs.
Another style of quoting is to use an em-dash to open a quote; this is used almost exclusively to quote dialogues, and is virtually the only convention used in works of fiction.
An en-dash is sometimes used in place of the em-dash, especially so in newspaper texts.
Neither the Portuguese Language regulator nor the Brazilian prescribe what is the shape for quotation marks, they only prescribe when and how they should be used.
In Portugal, the angular quotation marks (ex. «quote») are traditionally used. They are the Latin tradition quotation marks, used normally by typographers. It is that also the chosen representation for displaying quotation marks in reference sources, and it is also the chosen representation from some sites dedicated to the Portuguese Language.
The Código de Redação for Portuguese-language documents published in the European Union prescribes three levels of quotation marks representation («…“…‘…’…”…»):
However, the usage of English-style (ex. “quote” and ‘quote’) marks is growing in Portugal.[better source needed] That is probably due to the omnipresence of the English language and to the corresponding inability of some machines (mobile phones, cash registers, specific printers, calculators, etc.) to display the angular quotation marks.
In Brazil, however, the usage of angular quotation marks is little known, being used almost solely the curved quotation marks (“quote” and ‘quote’). This can be verified, for instance, in the difference between a Portuguese keyboard (which possesses a specific key for « and for ») and a Brazilian keyboard.
The Portuguese-speaking African countries tend to follow Portugal’s conventions, not the Brazilian ones.
Other usages of quotation marks (“quote„ for double, ‹quote› for single) are obsolete.
In Russian, Ukrainian, and Belarusian, angled quotation marks are used without spaces. In case of quoted material inside a quotation, rules and most noted style manuals prescribe the use of different kinds of quotation marks. However, some of them allow to use the same quotation marks for quoted material inside a quotation, and if inner and outer quotation marks fall together, then one of them should be omitted.
Permissible, when it is technically impossible to use different quotation marks:
It is common to use quotation dashes for dialogue, as well as within quotations for the reporting clause. For more details, see the Russian article on this topic.
Spanish uses angled quotation marks (comillas latinas or angulares) as well, but always without the spaces.
And, when quotations are nested in more levels than inner and outer quotation, the system is:
As in French, the use of English quotation marks is increasing in Spanish, and the El País style guide, which is widely followed in Spain, recommends them. Hispanic Americans often use them, owing to influence from the United States.
Corner brackets are well-suited for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages which are written in both vertical and horizontal orientations. China, South Korea, and Japan all use corner brackets when writing vertically. However, usages differ when writing horizontally:
White corner brackets are used to mark quote-within-quote segments.[clarification needed (In all the above locations and circumstances? If so, should this sentence be added before the last one in this section's 1st paragraph?)]
|「文字」||U+300C (12300), U+300D (12301)||Corner brackets
Chinese: 單引號 (dān yǐn hào)
Japanese: 鉤括弧 (kagikakko)
Korean: 낫표 (natpyo)
|U+FE41 (65089), U+FE42 (65090)[n]||For vertical writing:
|『文字』||U+300E (12302), U+300F (12303)||White corner brackets
Chinese: 雙引號 (shuāng yǐn hào),
Japanese: 二重鉤括弧 (nijū kagikakko)
Korean: 겹낫표 (gyeopnatpyo)
Korean (book titles),
|U+FE43 (65091), U+FE44 (65092)[n]||For vertical writing:
|“한”||U+201C (8220), U+201D (8221)||Double quotation mark
Korean: 큰따옴표 (keunttaompyo),
Chinese: 雙引號 (shuāng yǐn hào)
|Korean (South Korea),
Traditional Chinese (acceptable but less common, happened in Hong Kong mainly as a result of influence from mainland China),
|‘한’||U+2018 (8216), U+2019 (8217)||Single quotation mark
Korean: 작은따옴표 (jageunttaompyo),
Chinese: 單引號 (dān yǐn hào)
|Korean (South Korea),
Chinese (for quote-within-quote segments)
|《한》||U+300A (12298), U+300B (12299)||Double angle quotes
Korean: 겹화살괄호 (gyeop'hwasalgwaro)
Chinese: 書名號 (shū míng hào)
|Korean (book titles),
Chinese (used for titles of books, documents, musical pieces, cinema films, TV programmes, newspapers, magazines, laws, etc. )
|〈한〉||U+3008 (12296), U+3009 (12297)||Angle quotes
Korean: 홑화살괄호 (hot'hwasalgwaro)
Chinese: 書名號 (shū míng hào)
|Korean (book sub-titles),
Chinese (used for titles of books, documents, musical pieces, cinema films, TV programmes, newspapers, magazines, laws, etc. )
Another typographical style is to omit quotation marks for lines of dialogue, replacing them with an initial dash:
This style is particularly common in Bulgarian, French, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese. James Joyce always insisted on this style, although his publishers did not always respect his preference. Alan Paton used this style in Cry, the Beloved Country (and no quotation marks at all in some of his later work). Charles Frazier used this style for his novel Cold Mountain as well. Details for individual languages are given above.
The dash is often combined with ordinary quotation marks. For example, in French, a guillemet may be used to initiate running speech, with each change in speaker indicated by a dash, and a closing guillemet to mark the end of the quotation.
Dashes are also used in many modern English novels, especially those written in non-standard dialects. Some examples include:
In Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, Spanish, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Bulgarian, Georgian, Romanian, Lithuanian and Hungarian the reporting clause in the middle of a quotation is separated with two additional dashes (also note that the initial quotation dash is followed by a single whitespace character as well as the fact that the additional quotation dashes for the middle main clause after the initial quotation dash are all with a single whitespace character on both of their sides):
In Finnish, on the other hand, a second dash is added when the quote continues after a reporting clause:
The Unicode standard introduced a separate character U+2015 ― HORIZONTAL BAR to be used as a quotation dash. In general it is the same length as an em-dash, and so this is often used instead. The main difference between them is that at least some software will insert a line break after an em dash, but not after a quotation dash. Both are displayed in the following table.
|― A||U+2015 (8213)||―||Quotation dash, also known as horizontal bar|
|— A||U+2014 (8212)||—||Em-dash, an alternative to the quotation dash|
Different typefaces, character encodings and computer languages use various encodings and glyphs for quotation marks.
"Ambidextrous" quotation marks were introduced on typewriters to reduce the number of keys on the keyboard, and were inherited by computer keyboards and character sets. Some computer systems designed in the past had character sets with proper opening and closing quotes. However, the ASCII character set, which has been used on a wide variety of computers since the 1960s, only contains a straight single quote (U+0027 ' apostrophe) and double quote (U+0022 " quotation mark).
Many systems, such as the personal computers of the 1980s and early 1990s, actually drew these quotes like curved closing quotes on-screen and in printouts, so text would appear like this (approximately):
”Good morning, Dave,” said HAL.
’Good morning, Dave,’ said HAL.
These same systems often drew the grave accent (`, U+0060) as an open quote glyph (actually a high-reversed-9 glyph, to preserve some usability as a grave). This gives a proper appearance at the cost of semantic correctness. Nothing similar was available for the double quote, so many people resorted to using two single quotes for double quotes, which would look like the following:
‛‛Good morning, Dave,'' said HAL.
‛Good morning, Dave,’ said HAL.
The typesetting application TeX uses this convention for input files. The following is an example of TeX input which yields proper curly quotation marks.
``Good morning, Dave,'' said HAL.
`Good morning, Dave,' said HAL.
The Unicode slanted/curved quotes described below are shown here for comparison:
“Good morning, Dave,” said HAL.
‘Good morning, Dave,’ said HAL.
Typographical quotation marks are almost absent on keyboards.
In typewriter keyboards, the curved quotation marks were not implemented. Instead, to save space, the straight quotation marks were invented as a compromise. Even in countries that did not use curved quotation marks, angular quotation marks were not implemented either.
Computer keyboards followed the steps of typewriter keyboards. Most computer keyboards do not have specific keys for curved quotation marks or angled quotation marks. This may also have to do with computer character sets:
In languages that use the curved “…” quotation marks, they are available in:[o]
In languages that use the angular «…» quotation marks, they are available in:[o]
In languages that use the corner bracket 「…」 quotation marks, they are available in:[o]
In languages that use the angle bracket 《…》[p]
In languages that use the curved „…“ quotation marks, they are available in:[o]
In languages that use the curved „…” quotation marks, they are available in:[o]
In languages that use the curved ”…” quotation marks, they are available in:[o]
Historically support for curved quotes was a problem in information technology, primarily because the widely used ASCII character set did not include a representation for them. To use non ASCII characters in e-mail and on Usenet the sending mail application needs to set a MIME type specifying the encoding. In most cases (the exceptions being if UTF-7 is used or if the 8BITMIME extension is present), this also requires the use of a content-transfer encoding.
The term smart quotes (“…”) is from the name in several word processors of a function aimed this problem: automatically converting straight quotes typed by the user into curved quotes, the feature attempts to be "smart" enough to determine whether the punctuation marked opening or closing. Since curved quotes are the typographically correct ones, word processors have traditionally offered curved quotes to users (at minimum as available characters). Before Unicode was widely accepted and supported, this meant representing the curved quotes in whatever 8-bit encoding the software and underlying operating system was using. The character sets for Windows and Macintosh used two different pairs of values for curved quotes, while ISO 8859-1 (historically the default character set for the Unixes and older Linux systems) has no curved quotes, making cross-platform and -application compatibility difficult.
Performance by these "smart quotes" features was far from perfect overall (variance potential by e.g. subject matter, formatting/style convention, user typing habits). As many word processors (including Microsoft Word and OpenOffice.org) have the function enabled by default, users may not have realized that the ASCII-compatible straight quotes they were typing on their keyboards ended up as something different (conversely users could incorrectly assume its functioning in other applications, e.g. composing emails).
Further, "smart quotes" features wrongly process apostrophes as single quotes, given their common keyboard stroke. Both its purpose and its form (no diversity at all!) contradict this treatment. Initial apostrophes (such as in 'tis, 'em, 'til, and '89) are converted into opening single quotation marks—essentially upside-down apostrophes.[q] British styles,[r] in which single quotes are the standard primary, are most affected by inability to parse these two punctuation marks separately.
Unicode support has since become the norm for operating systems. Thus, in at least some cases, transferring content containing curved quotes (or any other non-ASCII characters) from a word processor to another application or platform has been less troublesome, provided all steps in the process (including the clipboard if applicable) are Unicode-aware. But there are still applications which still use the older character sets, or output data using them, and thus problems still occur.
There are other considerations for including curved quotes in the widely used markup languages HTML, XML, and SGML. If the encoding of the document supports direct representation of the characters, they can be used, but doing so can cause difficulties if the document needs to be edited by someone who is using an editor that cannot support the encoding. For example, many simple text editors only handle a few encodings or assume that the encoding of any file opened is a platform default, so the quote characters may appear as "garbage." HTML includes a set of entities for curved quotes:
‘ (left single),
’ (right single),
‚ (low 9 single),
“ (left double),
” (right double), and
„ (low 9 double). XML does not define these by default, but specifications based on it can do so, and XHTML does. In addition, while the HTML 4, XHTML and XML specifications allow specifying numeric character references in either hexadecimal or decimal, SGML and older versions of HTML (and many old implementations) only support decimal references. Thus, to represent curly quotes in XML and SGML, it is safest to use the decimal numeric character references. That is, to represent the double curly quotes use
”, and to represent single curly quotes use
’. Both numeric and named references function correctly in almost every modern browser. While using numeric references can make a page more compatible with outdated browsers, using named references are safer for systems that handle multiple character encodings (i.e. RSS aggregators and search results).
The style of quoting known as Usenet quoting uses the greater-than sign (
>) prepended to a line of text to mark it as a quote. This convention was later standardized in RFC 3676, and is now used by email clients when automatically including quoted text from previous messages (in plain text mode).
In Unicode, 30 characters are marked
Quotation Mark=Yes by character property. They all have general category "Punctuation", and a subcategory Open, Close, Initial, Final or Other (
Ps, Pe, Pi, Pf, Po).
|Quotation marks in Unicode (Character property "Quotation_Mark"=Yes)|
|"||U+0022||quotation mark||"||Typewriter ("programmer's") quote, ambidextrous. Also known as "double quote".|
|'||U+0027||apostrophe||'||Typewriter ("programmer's") straight single quote, ambidextrous|
|«||U+00AB||left-pointing double angle quotation mark||«||Double angle quote (chevron, guillemet, duck-foot quote), left|
|»||U+00BB||right-pointing double angle quotation mark||»||Double angle quote, right|
|‘||U+2018||left single quotation mark||‘||Single curved quote, left. Also known as inverted comma or turned comma[a]|
|’||U+2019||right single quotation mark||’||Single curved quote, right[b]|
|‚||U+201A||single low-9 quotation mark||‚||Low single curved quote, left|
|‛||U+201B||single high-reversed-9 quotation mark||‛||also called single reversed comma, quotation mark|
|“||U+201C||left double quotation mark||“||Double curved quote, or "curly quote", left|
|”||U+201D||right double quotation mark||”||Double curved quote, right|
|„||U+201E||double low-9 quotation mark||„||Low double curved quote, left|
|‟||U+201F||double high-reversed-9 quotation mark||‟||also called double reversed comma, quotation mark|
|‹||U+2039||single left-pointing angle quotation mark||‹||Single angle quote, left|
|›||U+203A||single right-pointing angle quotation mark||›||Single angle quote, right|
|⹂||U+2E42||double low-reversed-9 quotation mark||⹂||also called double low reversed comma, quotation mark|
|Quotation marks in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean (CJK)|
|「||U+300C||left corner bracket||「||CJK|
|」||U+300D||right corner bracket||」||CJK|
|『||U+300E||left white corner bracket||『||CJK|
|』||U+300F||right white corner bracket||』||CJK|
|〝||U+301D||reversed double prime quotation mark||〝||CJK|
|〞||U+301E||double prime quotation mark||〞||CJK|
|〟||U+301F||low double prime quotation mark||〟||CJK|
|﹁||U+FE41||presentation form for vertical left corner bracket||﹁||CJK Compatibility, preferred use: U+300C|
|﹂||U+FE42||presentation form for vertical right corner bracket||﹂||CJK Compatibility, preferred use: U+300D|
|﹃||U+FE43||presentation form for vertical left white corner bracket||﹃||CJK Compatibility, preferred use: U+300E|
|﹄||U+FE44||presentation form for vertical right white corner bracket||﹄||CJK Compatibility, preferred use: U+300F|
|＂||U+FF02||fullwidth quotation mark||＂||Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms, corresponds with U+0022|
|＇||U+FF07||fullwidth apostrophe||＇||Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms, corresponds with U+0027|
|｢||U+FF62||halfwidth left corner bracket||｢||Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms, corresponds with U+300C|
|｣||U+FF63||halfwidth right corner bracket||｣||Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms, corresponds with U+300D|
a = Also sometimes used by 18th- and 19th-century printers for the small "c" for Scottish names, e.g. M‘Culloch. For a printed example see the Green Bag reference or the Dictionary of Australasian Biography, page 290 (Wikisource).
b The same U+2019 code point and glyph is used for typographic (curly) apostrophes. Both U+0027 and U+2019 are ambiguous about distinguishing punctuation from apostrophes.
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