Single Quotes vs. Double Quotes

This week we shed light upon the usage of “Quotation Marks”. As you all know, there are two kinds: Single Quotes and Double Quotes. It’s an ongoing battle as to when either one of them is used. The reality is, rules for quotation marks are different across continents and style conventions. However, we have a few easy guidelines you can follow to keep the confusion at bay:

One thing that doesn’t ever change is that the quotation marks are ALWAYS used in pairs (one at the beginning and one at the end of the quoted text).

Single Quotes (‘) should only be used for:

  1. Headlines

Example: The Prime Minister urges, ‘Be safe, India’

2. Nested Quotations (quotations within quotations creating hierarchy of thoughts)

Example: Meena said, “It’ll be interesting to see how often we get asked, ‘How to use quotation marks to write nested quotations?’”


  • Single quotes around the internal quotation
  • Double quotes around the main quotation
  • You may have 3 quotes at the end depending upon how you’ve framed your sentence (see purple quotes)

Double Quotes (“) should be used for:

  1. Scare quotes (quotes that surround words used unusually, or ironically)

Example: The store promised to deliver “fresh” mangoes.

2. Direct quotations

Example: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” — Mahatma Gandhi

3. Unusual terms

Example: “Halfpace” refers to the small landing at the top of a flight of stairs where you have to turn and take another flight of stairs.

4. Referring to the titles of articles

Example: “Space Gardening” mentions that NASA has been trying to unlock the secrets of how plants grow away from home.

Since we are winning the battle of quotes here, let’s take you on a fun tour of the history of the most famous battle game of all — Chess. Did you know that Chess was invented in India (pretty impressive, right)? Check out this video to learn more:



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