In English, we might ask someone to "cite their quotation", or observe that they have made a quotation but failed to cite it. This is, I suppose, a somewhat scholastic use of the term, meaning to indicate the provenance of a quotation (author, page, etc.).

Looking up these terms in French, one finds that both "quote" and "cite" are translated "citer", and the same thing happens with the substantive "citation".

What's the most natural way to distinguish these ideas in French? A paraphrase of "cite" as I gave above? A term not present in my dictionary?


"To quote" is faire une citation and "to cite someone" is citer quelqu'un.

The correct and widespread translation of "to cite their quotation" is citer ses sources, i.e. to tell who is the original author of the quoted part.

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The phrase "référencer une citation" can be used; here is an example of this usage, and here is another.

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