單引號和雙引號的用法

在使用引號時,美國人習慣使用雙引號 (double quotation marks),而英國人使用單引號 (single quotation marks)。例如:

  • John said that he was “very angry.” (約翰說他「很生氣」) (正)
  • John said that he was ‘very angry’. (正)

因此,就美式英語而言,一般都是先使用雙引號,若該引號內還需要引號,則使用單引號。例如:

  • Julian asked me: “Would you like to see ‘Fast & Furious 7’?” (朱利安問我:「你想看《玩命關頭7》嗎?」) (正)
  • Mary asked Henry: “Do you have lyrics to ‘Radioactive’ by Imagine Dragons?” (瑪麗問亨利:「你有 Imagine Dragons 樂團所唱的《Radioactive》的歌詞嗎?」) (正)
  • The professor said: “This course uses two books. The first is Howard Jackson’s ‘Lexicography’ and the second is ‘Language Assessment’ by H. Douglas Brown.” (教授說:「本課程使用兩本書。第一本是 Howard Jackson 所著的《Lexicography》,第二本是 H. Douglas Brown 所著的《Language Assessment》」) (正)
  • The professor said: “This course uses two books. The first is Howard Jackson’s “Lexicography” and the second is “Language Assessment” by H. Douglas Brown.” (誤) - 將這句標示錯誤是有點嚴苛,因為有些人認為這樣也可以。

然而,大家一致公認的規則是,在同一層級,單引號和雙引號不可混合使用。例如:

  • The professor said: “This course uses two books. The first is Howard Jackson’s ‘Lexicography’ and the second is “Language Assessment” by H. Douglas Brown.” (誤)

註:在句子中,書籍、報紙、雜誌、報告、文學與藝術作品、詩詞、戲劇、電影和電視節目的名稱,通常以引號或斜體字來區隔。因此,上述的 Fast & Furious 7、Lexicography 和 Language Assessment 亦可用斜體字而不用引號,即 Fast & Furious 7LexicographyLanguage Assessment

相對地,就英式英語而言,一般都是先使用單引號,若該引號內還需要引號,則使用雙引號。例如:

  • Julian asked me: ‘Would you like to see “Fast & Furious 7”?’ (正)
  • Mary asked Henry: ‘Do you have lyrics to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons?’ (正)

由於英美的引號用法並不一致,著名的文體指南有的建議雙引號內使用單引號,有的則建議單引號內使用雙引號。不過,視寫作者的個人偏好而定,不管採用何種寫法,整篇文章或整份文件須保持一致。例如:

  • Does anyone know what the difference between “soon” and “when” is? (有人知道「soon」和「when」之間有什麼不同嗎?) (正)
  • Does anyone know what the difference between ‘soon’ and ‘when’ is? (正)
  • Does anyone know what the difference between “soon” and ‘when’ is? (誤)
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