Submitted by Linda Nagy • May 9, 2013
How do you handle a quote within a quote within a quote in an MLA citation?
May 24, 2013, 8:14pm
In the United States, you keep switching off between single and double quotes. So it would look like this:
"Sally remarked, 'Ginny, if you say "hell" again, I'll wash your mouth with soap.' "
Here, the word "hell" is in double quotes.
Other countries (like Germany, I believe) have a different approach, which is to move from single to double to triple quotes, like so:
'Sally remarked, "Ginny, if you say '''hell''' again, I'll wash your mouth with soap." '
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May 25, 2013, 4:35am
This page on "MLA Formatting Quotations" at the Purdue Online Writing School should answer all your questions:
Not in answer to your question, but as a matter of interest, in Britain we usually do it the second way Max_Eliott mentioned - single quotation marks on the outside, double quotation marks for nested quotations. But I've never seen triple quotes. We also use different punctuation, so called "logical punctuation", but that's a different story, although its use seems to be increasing in the US:
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