Submitted by Linda Nagy on May 9, 2013

A quote within a quote within a quote

How do you handle a quote within a quote within a quote in an MLA citation?

Comments

Sort by

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." '

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

This page on "MLA Formatting Quotations" at the Purdue Online Writing School should answer all your questions:

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/03/

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:

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_good_wor...

0 vote Vote!  •  Permalink  •  Report Abuse

Your Comment