Triple Quotation Marks


I would like to know whether the use of my triple quotation marks is alright (Quotation within quotation). Please see the following text and advise me on this:


Thus, the first part of the text, as agreed upon by the States, asserts the existing international legal obligations of States ‘to ensure respect for IHL by’ PMCs, ‘to implement ... human rights obligations through legislative and other measures’ and ‘to “take appropriate measures to prevent, investigate and provide effective remedies for relevant misconduct of”’ PMCs and their employees.  States also accept their responsibilities ‘to take punitive measures against “persons suspected of having committed other crimes under international law, such as torture or hostage taking”’.   

asked Jan 21 '13 at 13:05 Saddam Hossain New member

2 answers


Quotations within text should be enclosed with double quotes (" ") first. Quotations within this quotes should be enclosed with single quotes (' '). If the passage ends with the original and inner quote, then a single and double quote is used ('"). Note that quotation marks are used in pairs.

Quotation marks should be used only to separate a direct quote. Your use of quotation marks in the paragraph is confusing. You start with single quotes, but they don't seem to be citing a direct quote.


John said, "The man said, 'I want you to come with me.'"

link comment answered Jan 21 '13 at 13:28 Lewis Neidhardt Grammarly Fellow

Even with proper punctuation, having so many starts and stops is not only confusing to the reader, but it can appear that you are just pasting various things together out of context to create a new meaning.  It is better to choose one whole passage to quote and paraphrase the rest. 


The outside quotations seem to add very little substance.  It would be best to quote the original source, rather than quoting someone who is quoting that source.  I was able to find the original document quite easily with a simple online search.   

link comment answered Jan 21 '13 at 15:59 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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