I was in a dilemma when to use " " (double quotes) and ' ' (single quotes) in a sentence.

Can anyone here please let me know when to use these quotes exactly in a sentence. Am assuming that these both are the same in a sentence.


2 Answers 2


It completely depends on your usage. But you have to use it consistently. Commonly American prefers single quotes within double quotes, i.e.,

"He is a 'good' man."

And British prefers vice versa, i.e.,

'He is a "good" man'.


When you're in a dilemma, it's best to consult a usage guide. One of my favorites is the Purdue Online Writing Lab (a.k.a. the Purdue OWL); the OWL has an entire section devoted to using quotation marks.

Other commonly-used style guides in the U.S. include the APA and the Chicago Manual of Style. The Oxford Style Guide would be a good one for British English.

These style guides often talk about "tricky" instances, such as:

If I’m making a song title possessive and the song title is plural, what would I do?
(see Q-and-A here)

Not all style guides make the exact same recommendations, and variations also occur between British and American English – one of which is discussed in both Oxford and in the answer by ARYF on this question, when ARYF said, " ‘He is a "good" man’."

As a footnote, a quote within a quote within a quote is discussed here. It's messy, but I couldn't resist.

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