Quotation marks 

Use quotation marks, also called inverted commas, to indicate direct quotations and definitions.

Exemple correcte Before bestowing the award the Rector said, Dr Robinson’s efforts to oppose discrimination place him among the few who actually deserve such an honour.


Exemple correcte According to this dictionary, a methodology is a body of methods, rules and postulates employed by a discipline.


Always use double marks for a quotation and single marks for a quotation within a quotation.

Exemple correcte His office door is very unusual; it has Welcome written all over it in over thirty different languages.


Punctuation should be placed according to the meaning: if it belongs to the quotation, it is quoted; otherwise, it is not.

Exemple correcte According to the Dean, The need for structural change is paramount.”

Exemple correcte The Dean declared that the need for structural change was paramount.


Quotations of over four lines in length should be set off from the text as a block quotation, not enclosed in quotation marks, and single-spaced. Quoted matter within the block quotation is set off with double quotation marks; quotations within these quotations, with single quotation marks.

Single quotation marks can also help show the reader that a word or term is used in an unusual, colloquial or ironic way.

Exemple correcte Nature somehow ‘knows’ the best environmental course to take.


Exemple correcte The students felt ‘ripped off’ by the lecturer’s decision to hold the exam a week earlier than scheduled.


Exemple correcte That lecturer is famous for sharing her ‘wisdom’ with her students.


However, if you overuse quotation marks in these ways, they lose their effect. Also, use quotation marks for titles of chapters in books, articles in periodicals, and TV and radio programmes.
Darrera actualització: 26-10-2017
Impressió del capítol | Impressió de la pàgina
Recommended citation:
«Quotation marks» [en línia]. A: Criteris de la Universitat de Barcelona (CUB). Style Guide. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. Serveis Lingüístics. <https://www.ub.edu/cub/criteri.php?id=2310> [consulta: 25 juny 2021].