WorldSmart

WorldSmart: Punctuation Marks

Each nation applies its own type of punctuation marks in its written form. Below you will find examples of different punctuation marks utilized in countries around the world.

SYMBOL DESCRIPTION LANGUAGES COMMON USE
Arabic comma Arabic Standard
Arabic question mark Arabic Standard
Arabic semicolon Arabic Standard
Ideographic comma Chinese, Japanese Standard in both
Ideographic period Chinese, Japanese Standard in both
Left and right quotation marks Chinese Standard
or Ideographic quotation marks Chinese, Japanese Standard
„ " Quotation marks Czech, German Commonly used in both
„ " Quotation marks, low-high pair Danish, Hungarian, Polish, Russian Used in Russian to mark a quotation within a quotation Standard in Hungarian and Polish
" " Quotation marks Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish Most commonly used quotation marks in Danish, Finnish, and Swedish. Used occasionally in Norwegian
' ' Single quotation marks Danish, Finnish, Hungarian, Norwegian, Swedish Used in Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish to mark a quotation within a quotation. Used in Hungarian in philological texts
" " Straight quotation marks Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish Occasionally used in Swedish instead of standard single smart quotation marks. Occasionally used in Finnish instead of quotation marks
' ' Single straight quotation marks Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish Used to mark a quotation within a quotation
“ ” Smart quotation marks Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish Commonly used in all
‘ ’ Single smart quotation marks Dutch, English, Italian, Spanish Used in English, Spanish, and Italian to mark a quotation within a quotation. Standard in Dutch
; Question mark Greek Standard
. Semicolon Greek Standard
En dash Most European languages Some languages, such as Czech, Danish, Dutch, and Swedish, use the en dash instead of the em dash. Spanish uses the en dash for hyphenated words and compound terms.
Em dash All European languages except Danish and Swedish The en dash and the em dash are not typically used together in a single document. In Spanish, the em dash is some times used for incidental clauses or text in dialog boxes.