Feeling great to join this network. I appreciate it. I have a question: is it better to use the word quote or cite in such situation talking with a hypocrite person?

"When I quote you from him you do not listen but when I quote you from Einstein you listen."


"When I cite you from him you do not listen but when I cite you from Einstein you listen."

I want the more natural sounding, as English isn't my first language. I saw cite word is also used instead of quote word as synonym.

Thank you. :)

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  • Thanks for your question, but without more specifics about your concerns it sounds a bit like a proofreading request (which are off-topic here). Help us understand by including more details on your thinking and whatever research you've already done on the issue. "I'm worried that this doesn't sound right because…" or "These two sources [here] and [there] confuse me because it seems to me like they're saying…" – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 11:19
  • Dear Gossar actually i wanted to know the usage of "quote" word. – Abdur rahim Nov 2 '18 at 11:45
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    In truth, I'm confused by the sentence as you've given it. It's hard at first for me to tell who is being quoted and who is listening. – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 11:55
  • So something like "Is quote the best verb to use here? I considered using read but didn't think it fit because…." maybe? The more you tell us about your thought process, the better the question will be (and therefore less likely to be closed). – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 12:00
  • If this is a word-choice question about fluency or sounding natural, then it may get a more appropriate answer on ELL instead (since that sort of thing is the focus there). – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 12:02

If I understand your intent, I would replace the pronoun with a more direct reference and drop from.

When I quote you Joe Blow, you don't listen. But when I quote you Einstein, you listen.

You could instead say:

When I quote from Joe Blow, you don't listen. But when I quote from Einstein, you listen.

but don't combine the two. The use of an indirect object already implies a preposition. Adding another just muddies the picture.

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  • Gosser please guess i'm in such situation talking with a hypocrite person. I hope now it is clear to you. Thanks – Abdur rahim Nov 2 '18 at 12:55
  • This question seems more and more suited to ELL rather than ELU. But it's still not yet a good (complete) question. – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 13:15
  • Okay so what can i do? I'm new here, joined just today :( Please edit me if possible or suggest me. I don't want to annoy community. Thanks. – Abdur rahim Nov 2 '18 at 13:19
  • Doubling up on implied prepositions causes confusion. "I throw John the ball" and "I throw to John" have very different meanings from "I throw John to the ball." – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 14:08

A better way to phrase it is:

"When I quote him to you, you do not listen, but when I quote Einstein to you, you listen."

We don't say "I quote you" to mean "I quote someone when speaking to you". We say "I quote X" where X is the author of the words I quote.

"To", "at" or another preposition? I note that "quote shakespeare to you" has 41 Google hits, slightly more than "quote shakespeare at you" with 26. So I'd prefer "to".

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  • Actually quote can be used that way: "Let me quote you a price on that," "Quote him the riot act," or "I love a man who knows sonnets; quote me Shakespeare." That's what made the question so confusing to me. – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 12:42
  • Gosser you mean i should use "cite" word instead of "quote" word?? – Abdur rahim Nov 2 '18 at 12:43
  • @Gossar But each of your example usages of "quote" has two objects, rather than one object and one preposition phrase as in the OP's "I quote you from Einstein". – Rosie F Nov 2 '18 at 12:48
  • I have multiple problems with OP's sentence. But my examples were in response to your saying, "We don't say 'I quote you' to mean 'I quote someone when speaking to you'." Often we do just that. But you're right, what we don't do is "quote IO from DO." – Gossar Nov 2 '18 at 12:58

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