Quote vs quotation

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Quote and quotation are words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables quote and quotation, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Quote is a transitive verb that means to repeat speech or text that was first uttered or written by another author. A transitive verb is a verb that takes an object. One may quote a written work or quote something another person has said. People rarely quote themselves. Strictly speaking, quote should only be used as a verb; however, common usage has made the word quote interchangeable with the word quotation. Quote is also used to mean to give someone an estimate for providing a service or goods or the actual estimate that is given. Related words are quotes, quoted, quoting. The word quote is derived from the Latin word, quotare, which means to count how many. Originally, this referred to citing page numbers and chapters.

A quotation is a passage from text or speech that is repeated by someone other than the original author. Strictly speaking, quotation should be used as the noun form, not quote. Quotation is derived from the Latin word, quotationem.


While many have used this last line as a plea for unity— as quoted by Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who argued, “our place in history depends on whether we call on our better angels” in a statement against impeaching Trump again—it might not have been the whole of Lincoln’s intention. (Time Magazine)

“I always knew she would not only accurately quote me, but would also be fair and balanced in her reporting.” (Orange County Register)

The Vice President’s deputy press secretary confirmed that Kamala Harris did not make these remarks; Reuters could find no evidence of the quotation being legitimate. (Reuters)

Sokwali was also asked to obtain a quotation from another service provider, for an amount more than Victory Ticket’s quotation. (South African)