The phrase I have to quote is "Did you never hear of the 'Fountain of Youth?' “. First of all, How do I quote this so people know I'm not stealing their work? The sentence I gave is what someone is saying in a short story. I know you can't remove any of the quotes because that is what someone is saying. I think that I would add another set of quotes or something but I'm at a loss. Please help. Thank you all in advance.


1 Answer 1


Here's how I'd punctuate the material:

" 'Did you never hear of the "Fountain of Youth"?' "

In diagram form:

(") (')Did you never hear of the (")Fountain of Youth(")?(') (").

The first parens indicates you are beginning to quote a source; then comes a space; the second parens is the comment which was made in the source; the third, the phrase within the quotation; the fourth, the end of that phrase; then comes a space; and the fifth, the end of your quotation from your source.

As @chasly from UK has remarked, the double quotation marks aren't really necessary around the words Fountain of Youth, since by capitalizing Fountain and Youth, you've already identified it as Ponce de León's impossible dream. The double quotations would stay, I guess, if they were included in the text you are quoting from.

  • 1
    +1 In my experience this is the standard approach—alternate between single and double quotation marks for each level or layer of nested quoting. Whether to use single or double quotation marks for the outermost level is a separate style issue, and one on which (I believe) U.S. and UK usage tends to diverge.
    – Sven Yargs
    Oct 15, 2015 at 19:28

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