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Difference Between Quote and Quotation

Quote vs Quotation

The English language is constantly evolving, and so oftentimes we find ourselves wondering whether old rules still apply on how we use words. This is usually illustrated in our usage of certain terms that we think both refer to one thing but upon closer examination we can see that they are really different from each other. Two words that we often use are “quote” and “quotation.” Without giving much thought to them, we can easily say they refer to a statement or phrase which is the only thing that makes them similar to each other.

But once we open a dictionary and apply each word’s correct definition, we can have a better understanding of how they should be used as well as how different they are from one another. Let’s begin by defining what a quote is. According to the Oxford dictionary, it is “to repeat or copy a text or speech written or spoken by another person.” Common usage goes like this: He quoted a line from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” as part of his opening remarks for the program.

When a person is quoting someone’s words or statements, it is imperative that he or she acknowledges the source or the individual who originally made the statement or wrote the words. Reporters and journalists are very familiar with using quotes from people they interview and mention their names to imply that they’re not making them up. One example can be like this: The President of the United States was quoted saying, “America will not negotiate with terrorists.” In this statement, we can easily grasp that the person saying or writing it is repeating the exact words delivered by the President himself.

“Quotation” is defined as “a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author.” We can clearly see now how the two terms vary – “quote” refers to the act of repetition while “quotation” is the set of words which are being repeated or copied. One good example of a quotation is, “I shall return” spoken by Gen. Douglas MacArthur during his departure from the Philippines in World War II.

Another distinction of a quotation often overlooked is the fact that most if not all of them have profound interpretations or were made by famous individuals just like the one used as an example. It should also be noted that quotes or quoting should be done as precisely as possible to avoid confusion. Substituting even one word in a phrase or sentence can alter its meaning which is not what the speaker or writer is pointing out. Take the first example, “America will not negotiate with terrorists.” If we replace “negotiate” with “deal,” then we would no longer be quoting what the President said.


1.“Quote” and “quotation” are similar in a way that they both refer to a statement made by another individual.
2.A quote is an act of repeating a statement made by others while a quotation is a group of words being repeated by another individual.
3.A quotation is often made by famous people or has a deep meaning while making a quote should be precise to avoid confusion.

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1 Comment

  1. This was very helpful. Thank you. Precise language is important when writing any viewpoint(s) for public consumption.

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