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Quote vs. Quotation: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 20, 2023
"Quote" is both a verb (to repeat words) and a noun (a repeated phrase), while "quotation" is primarily a noun referring to a repeated segment of text or speech.

Key Differences

The terms quote and quotation are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct usages. "Quote" is versatile, functioning as both a verb (meaning to repeat or copy out words from a text or speech) and a noun (referring to the repeated phrase itself). "Quotation," on the other hand, is primarily a noun, specifically referring to a group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author or speaker.
In casual usage, "quote" is more commonly used, especially in spoken English, due to its brevity and familiarity. For example, someone might say, "I love that quote from the movie." In contrast, "quotation" is more formal and often used in academic or professional contexts. An example would be, "The author begins with a quotation from Shakespeare."
The verb form of "quote" is widely used in journalism, where reporters quote sources to give credibility to their articles. For instance, a journalist might write, "The mayor was quoted as saying…" In comparison, "quotation" as a noun is used in academic writing to denote a direct citation from a source, as in, "This paper will analyze the quotation from Plato's Republic."
"Quote" can also be used informally to refer to an estimate or a price, such as in, "Can you give me a quote for the repair work?" "Quotation" doesn’t share this usage; it remains specific to the context of repeating words from a text or speech.
In digital communication, "quote" is commonly used in reference to quoting someone’s words on social media or in messaging, often abbreviated as "qt." In contrast, "quotation" would be used in more formal or academic digital contexts, like citing a source in an online article.

Comparison Chart

Part of Speech

Used as both a noun and a verb
Primarily used as a noun


More informal, common in spoken and casual writing
More formal, often used in academic and literary contexts

Example Usage

"I quoted her exact words." / "That's a great quote."
"The book begins with a famous quotation."

Additional Meanings

Can refer to an estimate or price
Strictly refers to a passage from text or speech

Digital Usage

Often seen in social media and informal digital contexts
Used in more formal or academic digital contexts

Quote and Quotation Definitions


To provide an estimated price or value.
The contractor quoted a high price for the renovation.


A segment of dialogue or text used in literary analysis.
The professor analyzed a significant quotation from the play.


To repeat or copy out words from a text or speech.
She quoted a famous line from the poem in her speech.


A group of words taken from a text or speech and repeated by someone other than the original author.
The essay began with a quotation from Shakespeare.


A phrase taken from a text or speech and repeated.
That quote from the novel perfectly captures the character's dilemma.


A formal citation from a text used in academic writing.
The student carefully selected a quotation for her thesis.


To cite someone as evidence for or justification of an argument.
The lawyer quoted a precedent to support her case.


Use of a direct citation to support an argument or viewpoint.
The article used a quotation from the report to argue its point.


To mention or refer to someone or something to provide an example or evidence.
He quoted several studies in his article on health.


A reference to a famous saying or piece of dialogue.
His speech was filled with quotations from historical figures.


To repeat or copy (words from a source such as a book), usually with acknowledgment of the source
Quoted lines from Shakespeare in his lecture.


The act of quoting.


To repeat or copy the words of (a person or a book or other source)
Likes to quote Shakespeare when giving advice.


A passage quoted.


An explicit reference or allusion in an artistic work to a passage or element from another, usually well-known work
"Direct quotations from other paintings are fairly sparse" (Robert Hughes).


Is "quote" a verb or a noun?

"Quote" can be both a verb and a noun.

Are "quote" and "quotation" interchangeable?

They can be used interchangeably in the context of repeating words from a text or speech.

Is "quote" appropriate in academic writing?

"Quote" can be used, but "quotation" is more formal and preferred in academic writing.

What is a digital quote?

A digital quote refers to quoting someone's words on social media or digital platforms.

Is "quotation" used in informal contexts?

"Quotation" is more formal and less common in informal contexts.

What is an example of "quote" as a noun?

"That quote from the president was surprising."

Do journalists use "quote" or "quotation" more often?

Journalists often use "quote" both as a noun and a verb.

Can "quote" refer to a price estimate?

Yes, "quote" can refer to a price estimate.

Can "quotation" be used as a verb?

No, "quotation" is not typically used as a verb.

Are "quotes" used in social media?

Yes, "quotes" are commonly used and shared in social media contexts.

Is "quotation" ever abbreviated?

"Quotation" is not commonly abbreviated, unlike "quote."

How is "quote" used in journalism?

In journalism, "quote" is used to refer to the exact words spoken by someone.

Can "quote" be a command?

Yes, "quote" can be used as a command to instruct someone to repeat words verbatim.

Can "quotation" refer to a saying?

Yes, "quotation" can refer to a famous saying or an excerpt from a speech or text.

What does it mean to quote someone?

To quote someone means to repeat their exact words.

Is "quote" formal or informal?

"Quote" is generally considered more informal.

What's an example of "quotation" in a sentence?

"The professor used a quotation from Hemingway in her lecture."

How is "quotation" used in literary analysis?

"Quotation" is used to refer to a specific passage or line from a text being analyzed.

Can "quote" be used in official documents?

"Quote" can be used, but "quotation" might be more appropriate in very formal documents.

What is a "direct quotation"?

A direct quotation is a word-for-word repetition from a source.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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