It depends on the device you’re using. You access the buttons differently if you’re on a mobile device or a regular computer. When I read someone’s message, there is a button on the top right of the grey message window that says “quote”. If you press it, you get a different page where you can edit the part you want to quote, and then add your comments. Good luck!
If the number is to the right of the Profile then it is what Carob said. Someone has liked one of your posts or quoted you. You can find who and what by clicking of Profile and then Notifications. This displays a list.
You can quote an entire post by clicking the Quote at the top right of the post. Or you can quote just a portion of a post by "Shading" On a computer, you click and hold and then select the part you wish to quote. This pops up an option to quote.
You will get the hang of it and don't be afraid to ask - that is how we learn.
When I log in- my profile shows a number... what does that mean? How do I access that info?
If you click on the word "Profile" it will take you to your profile. The Notifications section has the numbers and if you click on that, it will tell you what they are for. Usually people liking your comment, replying to a thread you started or quoting you.
When I'm involved in reading a post and want to respond, do I have to wait until the end to respond? Sometimes the issue has "sidetracked "from the post I wished to respond to directly.
There are reply buttons on both the top & bottom of a thread. I often quote the section I want to reply to using the quick quote feature, which lets me continue reading and adding anything else I want to reply to.
I also don't know how you clever folks "quote" me and others. It is very useful in your posts.
As Davis says, there's 2 ways to quote people. Either using the quote button to quote their entire post, which you can then edit if you don't want the whole thing, or you can use the mouse to select text, or drag with your finger on mobile devices, like you would if you were going to copy the text. A little box will pop up on the bottom right of the text you've selected with the words "Quick Quote" and if you click it, it will automatically format the text you've selected as a quote in the Quick Reply box at the bottom of the thread.