Quotation marks are “, the left quotation mark, and ”, the right quotation mark. It should be noted that not all cultures use these this way. For a good explanation on various language and culture difficulties, as well as quotation marks in many other cultures, see avjewe's writeup below.

Unicode and HTML entities generally help. This writeup discusses some ASCII limitations.

In ASCII-based communications, your ordinary quotation marks are usually ASCII 34 ("), and single quotes are ASCII 39 ('). This is usually all you need to know if you are storing information on computer to be processed by computer and to be displayed on computer.

These symbols are enough for writers behind the keyboard, but not for printers who put the thing on paper.

For typographical reasons, ASCII 34 usually represents an inch symbol and ASCII 39 is an apostrophe. The actual quote marks don't have their representation in ASCII (and not even in Latin-1, though some "extended" ASCIIs have them).

TeX notation, used by some people in ASCII, uses ``this type of of quote marks'' (Repeated ASCII 96 and 39). This is a good way but somewhat space-wasting in ASCII text - originally, TeX processed these to single characters. Likewise, outside USA, in English, things can be quoted with `single quotes', with single marks, obviously. We here in Finland can quote phrases with ''double quotes'' and 'single quotes', with just madly banging the apostrophe key.

...

A small request for the readers: if you are doing DTP work, try to get the quotes right! It is one of the problems that is most obvious to spot, the single most obvious mistake people make when they first use DTP applications and prepare something to be published on print. It has been a long time since the so-called DTP revolution and I still see people using "straight quotes" or “smart quotes” when they should be using ”correct quotes for Finnish”. Some even use “wacky quotes“. Please refer to the style guides and recommendations and do what professionals do - it isn't that difficult. Small bits of caring go a long way.

Firstly, a few some rules regarding quotation marks:

When a writer puts words inside of quotation marks, he lets the reader know that what he is about to say is a duplication of something that someone else has already written or said. The writer assures the reader that what is in the quotation marks has not been changed at all. Now, as a writer, it's important that one doesn't, change anything at all when quoting; however, using brackets inside of quotation marks lets the reader know that this has been added into the quotation for clarification.

ie: Let's say one would like to quote this: "I am in control." It's all fine and dandy to quote that; however, it may be clearer to the reader if the subject and noun are changed to the third person, as such: Margaret feels that "[she is] in control" of the situation, and .... As opposed to: Margaret feels that "I am in control" of the situation, and.... The latter statement can confuse the reader, for he may assume that the writer meant to refer to himself, the writer, reflexively (see also: Reflexive Pronoun).

Another thing that the writer may add to a quotation is sic. Sic is from Latin, meaning approximately "thus," or "so," and informs the reader that any mistakes within the quotation marks were not his own. ie: "I ain't got any food" is improper. If the writer were to quote that, then he could add [sic] (within the brackets, since this is the writer's commentary) to inform the reader that it wasn't his own mistake: "I ain't got any food [sic]." I, however, believe that if anyone were to assume that mistakes within the quotation marks were the writer's mistakes, that the reader probably would not know what sic means.

Now that that is over, here are some basic rules regarding end punctuation for quotation marks. In American English, the period and the comma always go inside of the quotation marks: "I am a dog." or "I am the man," NEVER EVER do they go outside (unless you're using British English). The semi-colon and colon always go outside of the quotation marks: "These are the ones": or "I am here";
Now, the exlcamation mark and question mark can go inside or outside, depending on the context in which the quotation is used. Here are some basic rules for question marks:
If the writer quotes a question, ie, She said "that one?" Then the question mark, as shown here, is placed inside of the quotation marks. If, however, the writer asks a question, ie, Did she say "this is the one"? Then the question mark goes outside. A problem a writer may run into is when he wants to ask a question while quoting a question: Did she say "am I the one?" In this case, the question mark goes inside of the quotations.

For exclamation marks, the same rules as above can be applied by changing the proper syntax and meaning.

Quotation Marks are, like everything else, highly sensitive to language and context. {U+201A    SINGLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK ‚} and {U+201E    DOUBLE LOW-9 QUOTATION MARK „} unambiguously begin a quotation. All others can either open or close a quote, depending on context.

The following language breakdown is, of necessity, over-generalized.

In European typography, it is common to use guillemets (single or double angle brackets) for books and curly quotes for office automation. Single guillemets are sometimes used for quotes within quotes.

Dutch, English, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish, use right and left quotation marks, alternating double and single for nested quotes.

Czech, German and Slovak use the low-9 style for opening a quote, and left quotes for closing. Guillemets point to the quoted text, which is the opposite of the French usage.

Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish use the same right quote for both opening and closing. When guillemets are used, they both point right.

Hungarian and Polish open with an low double quote and end with a single or double right quote.

French, Greek, Russian and Slovenian use guillemets, with Slovenian pointing in and French pointing out.

East Asian Languages tend to use corner brackets. The actual glyph is rotated for vertical text.

So, for example :

  • “English”
  • „German”
  • ”Swedish”
  • «French»
  • »Slovenian«
  • »Swedish Books»

As of version 4.0, the Unicode standard has 29 semantically distinct varients of the quotation mark. They are enumerated below, separated by code block

All the characters in this code block were added in Unicode 1.1

Number of characters in each General Category :

Punctuation, Open          Ps :  8
Punctuation, Close         Pe :  7
Punctuation, Initial quote Pi :  6
Punctuation, Final quote   Pf :  4
Punctuation, Other         Po :  4

All the characters in this code block are in bidirectional category Other Neutral ON

The columns below should be interpreted as :

  1. The Unicode code for the character
  2. The character in question
  3. The Unicode name for the character
  4. The Unicode General Category for the character

If the characters below show up poorly, or not at all, see Unicode Support for possible solutions.

 

Basic Latin

     ASCII

U+0022  " quotation mark Po
html "
sgml "
* neutral (vertical), used as opening or closing quotation mark
* preferred characters in English for paired quotation marks are 201C & 201D
ref U+02BA ʺ modifier letter double prime (Spacing Modifier Letters)
ref U+030B ̋ combining double acute accent (Combining Diacritical Marks)
ref U+030E ̎ combining double vertical line above (Combining Diacritical Marks)
ref U+2033 double prime (General Punctuation)
ref U+3003 ditto mark (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)
U+0027  ' apostrophe Po
sgml '
aka APOSTROPHE-QUOTE
aka APL quote
* neutral (vertical) glyph having mixed usage
* preferred character for apostrophe is 2019
* preferred characters in English for paired quotation marks are 2018 & 2019
ref U+02B9 ʹ modifier letter prime (Spacing Modifier Letters)
ref U+02BC ʼ modifier letter apostrophe (Spacing Modifier Letters)
ref U+02C8 ˈ modifier letter vertical line (Spacing Modifier Letters)
ref U+0301 ́ combining acute accent (Combining Diacritical Marks)
ref U+2032 prime (General Punctuation)

 

Latin-1 Supplement

     ISO 8859-1 (aka Latin-1)

U+00AB  « left pointing double angle quotation mark Pi
html «
sgml «
aka LEFT POINTING GUILLEMET
aka chevrons (in typography)
* usually opening, sometimes closing
ref U+226A much less than (Mathematical Operators)
ref U+300A left double angle bracket (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)
U+00BB  » right pointing double angle quotation mark Pf
html »
sgml »
aka RIGHT POINTING GUILLEMET
* usually closing, sometimes opening
ref U+226B much greater than (Mathematical Operators)
ref U+300B right double angle bracket (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)

 

General Punctuation

     General punctuation

U+2018  ‘ left single quotation mark Pi
html ‘
sgml ‘ ‘ ’
aka SINGLE TURNED COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* this is the preferred glyph (as opposed to 201B)
ref U+0027 ' apostrophe (Basic Latin)
ref U+02BB ʻ modifier letter turned comma (Spacing Modifier Letters)
ref U+275B heavy single turned comma quotation mark ornament (Dingbats)
U+2019  ’ right single quotation mark Pf
html ’
sgml ’ ’
aka SINGLE COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* this is the preferred character to use for apostrophe
ref U+0027 ' apostrophe (Basic Latin)
ref U+02BC ʼ modifier letter apostrophe (Spacing Modifier Letters)
ref U+275C heavy single comma quotation mark ornament (Dingbats)
U+201A  ‚ single low 9 quotation mark Ps
html ‚
sgml ‚ ‚
aka LOW SINGLE COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* used as opening single quotation mark in some languages
U+201B  ‛ single high reversed 9 quotation mark Pi
sgml ”
aka SINGLE REVERSED COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* glyph variant of 2018
ref U+02BD ʽ modifier letter reversed comma (Spacing Modifier Letters)
U+201C  “ left double quotation mark Pi
html “
sgml “ “ ”
aka DOUBLE TURNED COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* this is the preferred glyph (as opposed to 201F)
ref U+0022 " quotation mark (Basic Latin)
ref U+275D heavy double turned comma quotation mark ornament (Dingbats)
ref U+301D reversed double prime quotation mark (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)
U+201D  ” right double quotation mark Pf
html ”
sgml ” ”
aka DOUBLE COMMA QUOTATION MARK
ref U+0022 " quotation mark (Basic Latin)
ref U+2033 double prime (General Punctuation)
ref U+275E heavy double comma quotation mark ornament (Dingbats)
ref U+301E double prime quotation mark (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)
U+201E  „ double low 9 quotation mark Ps
html „
sgml „ „
aka LOW DOUBLE COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* used as opening double quotation mark in some languages
ref U+301F low double prime quotation mark (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)
U+201F  ‟ double high reversed 9 quotation mark Pi
sgml ’
aka DOUBLE REVERSED COMMA QUOTATION MARK
* glyph variant of 201C

     General punctuation

U+2039  ‹ single left pointing angle quotation mark Pi
html ‹
sgml ‹
aka LEFT POINTING SINGLE GUILLEMET
* usually opening, sometimes closing
ref U+003C < less than sign (Basic Latin)
ref U+2329 left pointing angle bracket (Miscellaneous Technical)
ref U+3008 left angle bracket (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)
U+203A  › single right pointing angle quotation mark Pf
html &rsaquo;
sgml &rsaquo;
aka RIGHT POINTING SINGLE GUILLEMET
* usually closing, sometimes opening
ref U+003E > greater than sign (Basic Latin)
ref U+232A right pointing angle bracket (Miscellaneous Technical)
ref U+3009 right angle bracket (CJK Symbols and Punctuation)

 

CJK Symbols and Punctuation

     CJK symbols and punctuation

U+300C  「 left corner bracket Ps
ref U+2308 left ceiling (Miscellaneous Technical)
U+300D  」 right corner bracket Pe
* used as quotation marks
ref U+230B right floor (Miscellaneous Technical)
U+300E  『 left white corner bracket Ps
U+300F  』 right white corner bracket Pe
* used as quotation marks
U+301D  〝 reversed double prime quotation mark Ps
* sometimes depicted as double prime quotation mark
ref U+201C left double quotation mark (General Punctuation)
ref U+2036 reversed double prime (General Punctuation)
U+301E  〞 double prime quotation mark Pe
* this is a mistaken analogue to 201D; 301F is preferred
ref U+201D right double quotation mark (General Punctuation)
ref U+2033 double prime (General Punctuation)
U+301F  〟 low double prime quotation mark Pe
* may be depicted as low inverse double prime quotation mark

 

CJK Compatibility Forms

     Glyphs for vertical variants

U+FE41  ﹁ presentation form for vertical left corner bracket Ps
U+FE42  ﹂ presentation form for vertical right corner bracket Pe
U+FE43  ﹃ presentation form for vertical left white corner bracket Ps
U+FE44  ﹄ presentation form for vertical right white corner bracket Pe

 

Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms

     Fullwidth ASCII variants

U+FF02  " fullwidth quotation mark Po
U+FF07  ' fullwidth apostrophe Po

     Halfwidth CJK punctuation

U+FF62  「 halfwidth left corner bracket Ps
U+FF63  」 halfwidth right corner bracket Pe

http://unicode.org

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.