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There are several types of quotation marks in the English language (and in other languages there are even more). There are also several ways in LaTeX to represent these. I have seen editors, that are capable of directly entering and . And I have also seen things like this `''.

So, what is the best way to do English quotation marks in LaTeX?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 30 down vote accepted

A quick summary of the available solutions:

  1. Type ``text'' in your source code to produce “text”, and type `text' to produce ‘text’.

  2. Using an Unicode editor—and either \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} or XeTeX/LuaTeX—you can simply type “text” or ‘text’ in your code.

  3. With the csquotes package, you type \enquote{text}, but you also get loads of other options such as context sensitivity and foreign quotes.

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"foreign" to whom? It's bizarre that people from non-english-speaking countries call non-ascii characters "foreign"! –  morbusg Feb 10 '11 at 7:24
@morbusg: well, that's how they are called in the csquotes manual. :) –  Juan A. Navarro Feb 10 '11 at 9:42

No discussion of quotation marks in LaTeX is complete without reference to the csquotes package.

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Wow, thanks! (For others: csquotes is a package whose most basic feature is an \enquote{} command that automatically picks quotation marks to suit context, nesting, language style (even British v/s American), and so on, and it has many more great features for quotations.) –  ShreevatsaR Jul 29 '10 at 3:20

TeX/LaTeX display the real quotation marks by default: ` and `` are converted to opening quotation marks; ' and '' are closing quotation marks. You'll generally always see the curved quotes in the output, in the default font. You should always quote like


and not like ''this'' or "this", because that appears like ”this” (closing quotation marks on both sides), and is very annoying to readers. (If you type the double quote character in Emacs, it automatically guesses whether you meant to insert `` or ''; other editors probably do too.)

You can also directly enter the curved quote characters if you like, if you're using an environment that supports Unicode input: either \usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}, or XeTeX/LuaTeX. See the question on glyph insertion.

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The quote-rules depend on the country you live in, so your examples of "not like..." are not universal. In Finnish, for example, the rule is to use two closing quotation marks ”like so”. –  morbusg Feb 10 '11 at 7:21
@morsbug: The question mentions "in the English language" and "English quotation marks". :-) But thanks, I didn't know that about Finnish… I've learnt something new. –  ShreevatsaR Feb 10 '11 at 14:59
I wonder why so many people insist on twisting my handle to a variation of the word "bug"... C'mon, it's not funny! You're right though, I missed the last line from OP. –  morbusg Feb 10 '11 at 18:36
@mor: Apologies, misread your handle. Did the mistake really seem intentional?! Anyway, I've learnt a lesson, and (in cases where I don't copy-and-paste) I'll use the bare minimum of three letters henceforth. :-) –  ShreevatsaR Feb 10 '11 at 18:41

I have always simply used two backticks, ``, to create an opening quotation mark, and two apostrophe's, '', to create a closing one. In fact, many editors will automatically keep track of which one you need next and enter it if you type the 'regular' quotation mark, ".

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