Quotation marks, inverted commas and ‘66 and 99’. Do you know the difference?

April 2021

2021.04.09 | CKR/LVS

Photo: Matej, Pexels

In fact, quotation marks, inverted commas and the so-called ’66 and 99’ are the same, but they come in two typologies: double (“...”) and single (‘...’). Either is acceptable, but you must be consistent with your use of them in a piece of writing. In AU texts, however, the following is recommended.


Double quotation marks

Double quotation marks are used to mark the beginning and end of a quote or direct speech. Remember to place commas and full stops inside the quotes, if you are quoting a full sentence:

 “I look forward to having physical lectures at the university again,” the professor said.


If you are quoting a fragment of a sentence, place commas and full stops outside the quotes:

 The professor was looking forward to “having physical lectures at the university again”.


We do not recommend that you both italicise and use quotation marks in a quote/direct speech at the same time:    

 “I look forward to having physical lectures at the university again,” the professor said.


Single quotation marks

Single quotation marks are used to indicate idiomatic/unknown terms or concepts as well as quoted words or sentences within the main quotation:     

 He went to the university in ‘the swinging sixties’.

 “Let’s explore the meaning of the quote ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’,” the lecturer said.

Language Services, Staff