Not sure the exact name and proper use when someone paraphrases using single quotes (') vs double quotes ("), eg. 'abcd' as opposed to "abcd".

Can someone explain the difference please?

  • There are no hard and fast rules. Unlike with spelling, the only place the details of punctuation are really formalized is in the style guides of various publishers and independent agencies, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, etc, but style guides contradict each other and every publisher has its own tweaks and custom rules, so it's really just a matter of picking a style that suits you, and being consistent to the extent you can. Unless of course, your employer requires or enforces a particular style.
    – Dan Bron
    Feb 11, 2016 at 19:35
  • 1
    You may want to rephrase your question for clarity. You seem to be asking about the difference between single quotation marks versus double quotation marks. It doesn't seem to have anything essential to do with paraphrase, does it?
    – DyingIsFun
    Feb 11, 2016 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


Double quotes are typically used to represent a verbatim copy of someone's sentences, while single quotes (squotes) are typically used to reference a feature of the text, rather than read it normally. That is how I can talk about a word like 'the'. 'The' is a determiner, but as you read squoted 'the', you treat it as a noun. Both quotes and squotes turn text into a noun, so you might find them used either way; or you might find both, allowing nested quotes like: She said "I heard him say 'I love you'".

PS: this font looks like I used double and triple squotes.

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