sQuote {base}R Documentation

Quote Text


Single or double quote text by combining with appropriate single or double left and right quotation marks.





an R object, to be coerced to a character vector.


The purpose of the functions is to provide a simple means of markup for quoting text to be used in the R output, e.g., in warnings or error messages.

The choice of the appropriate quotation marks depends on both the locale and the available character sets. Older Unix/X11 fonts displayed the grave accent (ASCII code 0x60) and the apostrophe (0x27) in a way that they could also be used as matching open and close single quotation marks. Using modern fonts, or non-Unix systems, these characters no longer produce matching glyphs. Unicode provides left and right single quotation mark characters (U+2018 and U+2019); if Unicode markup cannot be assumed to be available, it seems good practice to use the apostrophe as a non-directional single quotation mark.

Similarly, Unicode has left and right double quotation mark characters (U+201C and U+201D); if only ASCII's typewriter characteristics can be employed, than the ASCII quotation mark (0x22) should be used as both the left and right double quotation mark.

Some other locales also have the directional quotation marks, notably on Windows. TeX uses grave and apostrophe for the directional single quotation marks, and doubled grave and doubled apostrophe for the directional double quotation marks.

What rendering is used depend on the options setting for useFancyQuotes. If this is FALSE then the undirectional ASCII quotation style is used. If this is TRUE (the default), Unicode directional quotes are used are used where available (currently, UTF-8 locales on Unix-alikes and all Windows locales except C): if set to "UTF-8" UTF-8 markup is used (whatever the current locale). If set to "TeX", TeX-style markup is used. Finally, if this is set to a character vector of length four, the first two entries are used for beginning and ending single quotes and the second two for beginning and ending double quotes: this can be used to implement non-English quoting conventions such as the use of guillemets.

Where fancy quotes are used, you should be aware that they may not be rendered correctly as not all fonts include the requisite glyphs: for example some have directional single quotes but not directional double quotes.


A character vector of the same length as x (after any coercion) in the current locale's encoding.


Markus Kuhn, “ASCII and Unicode quotation marks”. https://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~mgk25/ucs/quotes.html

See Also

Quotes for quoting R code.

shQuote for quoting OS commands.


op <- options("useFancyQuotes")
paste("argument", sQuote("x"), "must be non-zero")
options(useFancyQuotes = FALSE)
cat("\ndistinguish plain", sQuote("single"), "and",
    dQuote("double"), "quotes\n")
options(useFancyQuotes = TRUE)
cat("\ndistinguish fancy", sQuote("single"), "and",
    dQuote("double"), "quotes\n")
options(useFancyQuotes = "TeX")
cat("\ndistinguish TeX", sQuote("single"), "and",
    dQuote("double"), "quotes\n")
if(l10n_info()$`Latin-1`) {
    options(useFancyQuotes = c("\xab", "\xbb", "\xbf", "?"))
    cat("\n", sQuote("guillemet"), "and",
        dQuote("Spanish question"), "styles\n")
} else if(l10n_info()$`UTF-8`) {
    options(useFancyQuotes = c("\xc2\xab", "\xc2\xbb", "\xc2\xbf", "?"))
    cat("\n", sQuote("guillemet"), "and",
        dQuote("Spanish question"), "styles\n")

[Package base version 3.3.2 Index]