In English, when should one use single quotation marks vs double quotation marks?
Single quotation marks are used inside double quotation marks. Double quotation marks are used for quotes said by other people.
Example: In Macbeth the First witch said
'Give me,' quoth I:
'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries.
To put this in your essay as proof:
"'Give me,' quoth I:
'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed ronyon cries." (citation goes here in MLA or APA or other format)
Hopefully I can help.
Use double quotation marks (") when quoting someone, taking information from somewhere, usually excerpts from books/magazines/articles/other sources of info.
Use single quotation marks for phrases used a lot, or when using words to give an underlying message that you want your readers to understand, but not take literally. They are also used in headlines and to show a quote within another quote.
Double quotation (I made all this info up):
A new study shows that a new species of genetically modified plants can live longer. They prove these plants can "sustain a longer life, while still functioning as any other plant would," says a scientist.
"Ugh, he's so clueless. Did he ask you another 'smart' question again?