I'm pretty sure you've heard these two confusing words before. Now, do you wanna improve your English? Well then, come on.

"Cite" vs. "Quote" in English

What Is Their Main Difference?

We use both of these words to refer to someone's ideas in our own writing or speech, but 'cite' is used when we say that particular person's ideas and theories in our own words, whereas, we use 'quote' when us that person's exact words in our speech.

Differences

As stated above, both of these words are used to refer to someone's ideas ad theories. We use use 'cite' when we want to refer to someone's ideas, theories, principles, etc. in our own words. When we 'quote', we repeat someone's exact, same words. Look below:

The witness cited evidence that proved he was innocent.

John continued the play quoting Shakespeare: "To be or not to be?"

When we 'quote' someone, we must put the saying between 'quotation marks', but when we cite a theory, there is no need to use 'quotation marks'. Look below:

I heard him quote Benjamin Franklin during his speech saying: " Better slip with foot than tongue."

The author has cited different theories of Jacques Lacan.

Similarities

Both of them are used to refer to someone's ideas and theories. Look below:

The experts cited several of Newton's theories on gravity in their final conclusion.

I think I'd better quote some lines from Shakespeare when all the guests have ariived.

Are They Interchangeable?

If we use these two words interchangeably, the listener will most likely get confused. Compare the following examples:

✓ Jonathon quoted these lines from John Keats: " Nothing ever becomes real 'til it is experienced."

X Jonathon cited these lines from John Keats: " Nothing ever becomes real 'til it is experienced."

As you can see, the second sentence is incorrect.

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