when to use single quotes in Project Variables

what is the right scenario for using single quotes to wrap project variables? 


Let's say i have a data constraint added to a field and i am using a dynamic project variable like, so

in this scenario, i am comparing a data to another date, and i have the variable encased in single quotes.

I always assumed the single quotes was how Discovery Hub "renders" the underlying variable, but i recently found that my assumption was untrue. 

is the single quotes only to be used when evaluating a character string? or are there some rules to apply wrapping in single quotes.


Note: the variable above is a dynamic -> select max({datefield}) from {table} statement, under the covers. 

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