Quotation vs. Quote

What's the Difference?

Quotation and quote are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they have slightly different meanings. A quotation refers to a passage or statement that is taken directly from a source, such as a book or an article, and is used to support or illustrate a point. It is typically enclosed in quotation marks and attributed to the original author. On the other hand, a quote is a brief and memorable phrase or sentence that is often used to convey a particular message or idea. It may or may not be attributed to a specific source. While a quotation is more formal and used in academic or professional writing, a quote is commonly used in everyday conversations, speeches, or social media posts to inspire, entertain, or provoke thought.


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DefinitionA group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker.A brief, memorable, and often pithy statement or passage extracted from a larger work or speech.
UsageCommonly used in academic, literary, and formal contexts.Used in various contexts, including literature, speeches, conversations, and informal writing.
LengthCan range from a few words to several sentences or paragraphs.Typically shorter than a quotation, often consisting of a single sentence or phrase.
AttributionUsually attributed to a specific person or source.May or may not be attributed to a specific person or source.
ContextOften used to support arguments, provide evidence, or convey someone else's viewpoint.Can be used to convey a specific idea, express an opinion, or provide inspiration.
FormalityGenerally considered more formal due to its association with academic and literary contexts.Can be used in both formal and informal settings.
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Further Detail


Quotation and quote are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but they do have distinct attributes and meanings. In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities between these two terms, shedding light on their usage, context, and implications. Understanding the nuances between quotation and quote can help us communicate more effectively and accurately in various contexts.

Definition and Usage

A quotation, often referred to as a quote, is a word, phrase, or passage taken from another source and repeated or cited by someone else. It is used to provide evidence, support an argument, or convey someone else's words or ideas. Both terms essentially refer to the same concept, but the usage of each term can vary depending on the context.

Formality and Context

When it comes to formality, quotation tends to be more formal than quote. Quotation is commonly used in academic writing, research papers, and formal speeches, where accuracy and proper citation are crucial. On the other hand, quote is more commonly used in everyday conversations, informal writing, and social media platforms. The choice between quotation and quote depends on the level of formality required in a particular context.

Length and Scope

Quotation is often associated with longer passages or sentences that are reproduced verbatim from the original source. It is used when the exact wording and context of the original statement are important. Quotations can range from a few words to several paragraphs, depending on the purpose and relevance to the topic. On the other hand, quote is generally used for shorter phrases or sentences that capture the essence or key points of the original statement. Quotes are often used to provide a concise summary or highlight a memorable line from a source.

Attribution and Citations

One of the key differences between quotation and quote lies in the attribution and citation practices. Quotations require proper citation and attribution to give credit to the original author or source. In academic writing and formal contexts, it is essential to provide accurate citations using specific formatting styles such as APA, MLA, or Chicago. On the other hand, quotes are often used without explicit attribution, especially in informal conversations or when the source is well-known and widely recognized. However, it is always good practice to acknowledge the source of a quote, especially in professional or academic settings.

Impact and Emphasis

Quotations are often used to provide evidence, support arguments, or lend credibility to a statement. They carry a sense of authority and can have a significant impact on the reader or listener. Quotations are particularly useful when discussing controversial topics or when the original source is an expert in the field. On the other hand, quotes are more commonly used to emphasize a point, add a touch of humor, or convey a memorable line. Quotes can be powerful tools for engaging an audience and making a statement more memorable or relatable.

Examples and Illustrations

Let's consider a few examples to illustrate the differences between quotation and quote:

  • Quotation: "To be or not to be, that is the question." - William Shakespeare
  • Quote: "Carpe diem" - Seize the day

In the first example, we have a quotation from Shakespeare's play Hamlet. The full sentence is reproduced verbatim, and the attribution is provided to acknowledge the original author. This quotation is often used to discuss existential questions or the dilemma of decision-making.

In the second example, we have a quote that encapsulates the Latin phrase "carpe diem," which means to make the most of the present moment. This quote is often used to encourage living life to the fullest and seizing opportunities.


While quotation and quote are often used interchangeably, they have distinct attributes and implications. Quotation tends to be more formal, longer, and requires proper attribution, making it suitable for academic and formal contexts. On the other hand, quote is more informal, shorter, and often used without explicit attribution in everyday conversations and informal writing. Understanding the differences between these terms can help us communicate effectively and accurately, ensuring that we use the appropriate term based on the context and purpose of our communication.

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