February 16th, 2023 in Grammar by April Michelle Davis 0

We all know that double quotation marks should go around direct quotations and the titles of shorter works such as articles, poems, and chapters, but when is it appropriate to use single quotation marks?

Nested Quotes

Single quotation marks are most commonly used to set off quotes within quotes. Whenever you are quoting someone who is quoting someone else, enclose the primary speaker’s words in double quotation marks and the secondary speaker’s words in single quotation marks.

During an interview with John Smith, Smith said, “I was able to catch the fish once Bill yelled, ‘Reel her in!’”


It is also customary to use single quotation marks for quotes within headlines in newspapers and publications.

Lincoln: ‘The war has begun’


Try It!

Place the appropriate quotations in the marked spots.

  1. _Alice saved my life when she screamed, _Look out!_ said Bill.
  2. A headline: Senator is _ecstatic_ about new policies.



1. “Alice saved my life when she screamed, ‘Look out!’” said Bill

2. Senator is ‘ecstatic’ about new policies.