"Inverted commas" is the official name for quotes or quotation marks. The name means upside down commas, although if you look very carefully, you will see that only the ones at the beginning are really upside down.
There are lots of reasons for using inverted commas. They can indicate that words are examples, rather than part of the sentence (as above). They can show the actual words someone said or indicate the title of a book, film, article etc. Always try to use them in a consistent way so your reader knows what you are doing.
You can use singles, like this:
He always calls us ‘juniors' although several of us are older than he is.
Or doubles, like this:
The correct name of the article is "The End of Banking as we Know it".
There are no hard and fast rules about which you should use. The Economist (usually my bible in matters of this kind) prefers doubles, and they have the advantage of being less likely to be confused with apostrophes or exclamation marks.
If, by any chance, you write a sentence that needs a quote within a quote, you should use a different style for each:
The project leader said, "however long it takes, our so-called ‘fast track plan' had better deliver to specification".
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