I have a paragraph as follows:

``This is a quote. `Here is a quote within a quote.'''

But the formatting works out to be a double quote (") followed by a single quote (') instead of the other way around. How can I solve this problem?


4 Answers 4


You have the following options:

enter image description here

Outer double, inner single: ``\thinspace`\ \ldots\ '\thinspace'' \par
Outer single, inner double: `\thinspace``\ \ldots\ ''\thinspace'

The TeX Book mentions (Chapter 2: Book Printing versus Ordinary Typing, p 5): "There's usually less space preceding a single left quote than there is preceding a double left quote. (Left and right are opposites.)"

So, in your instance,

``This is a quote. `Here is a quote within a quote.'\thinspace''

enter image description here

  • 5
    Would ``{}`Foo'{}'' be an option as well? It's kinda hard to tell, but the spaces do differ a bit between the "black marks" in the output. Considering you're quoting Knuth's recommendation, it doesn't seem to be what was intended by the inventor.
    – doncherry
    Sep 25, 2012 at 4:48
  • @doncherry: To me the distinction is too minimal. However, I can see that it could be a user-preference as well.
    – Werner
    Sep 25, 2012 at 5:22

The csquotes package might be helpful.

For nested quotings just nest \enquote{} like this:


\enquote{outer and \enquote{inner}}

nested enquotes (en)

It is also very useful for non-english quotation marks:


\enquote{außen und \enquote{innen}}

nested enquotes (de)

  • 3
    +1, but German punctuation would prescribe \enquote{innen}.}, perhaps even \enquote{innen}}.. (On a side note: Why not use the minimal class)
    – doncherry
    Sep 26, 2012 at 18:37
  • @doncherry Thank you for your hints: I edited my answer accordingly.
    – fheub
    Sep 27, 2012 at 15:13
  • Thank you for your hints: I edited my answer accordingly but not the result image, which confused me for a moment :-)
    – Daniel
    Nov 15, 2012 at 14:41
``` '''     % misinterpretation by (La)TeX
``{}` '{}'' % good interpretation (but bad spaces) 

An alternative solution is use the \, command. It'll give you an output similar to the method using \thinspace.


``This is a quote \,`Here is a quote within a a quote.'\,''

enter image description here

  • Welcome to TeX.SE! In fact, \, is defined exactly as \thinspace if not in math mode. And it's convenient to type, and the LaTeX documentation gives a similar example. Mar 13, 2018 at 23:34
  • The example given is: ``\,`Foo', he said.'' Mar 13, 2018 at 23:42

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