Punctuating dialogue

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Punctuating dialogue

  1. 1. Punctuating Dialogue
  2. 2. Terms• Dialogue: a written conversation• Tag lines: words that identify the speaker
  3. 3. Tag line before the quote• Put a comma after the tag line.• Put the quotation in quotation marks. (Capitalize the first word in the sentence and keep end punctuation within the quotation marks.)• Example: Crooks said well you been takin’ ‘em out of the nest all the time. I wonder the old lady don’t move ‘em someplace else.
  4. 4. Example• Crooks said, “Well you been takin’ ‘em out of the nest all the time. I wonder the old lady don’t move ‘em someplace else.”
  5. 5. Tag line after the quote• Put the quote in quotation marks.• Replace the period with a comma (within the quotation marks) and put a period after the tag line.Example: George won’t do nothing like that herepeated• If the end punctuation is ? or !, do not replace it with a comma.Example: What? he demanded.
  6. 6. Examples• “George won’t do nothing like that,” he repeated• “What?” he demanded.
  7. 7. Tag line in the middle of the quoteTag line splits two separate sentences of thequote:• Put a comma at the end of the first part of the sentence (within the quotation marks).• Put a period after the tagline and quotation marks around the remainder of the quote (including end punctuation).Example: I was just supposing he said Georgeain’t hurt. He’s all right.
  8. 8. Example• “I was just supposing,” he said. “George ain’t hurt. He’s all right.”
  9. 9. Tag line in the middle of the quoteTag line splits one sentence of the quote:• Put a comma at the end of the first part (within the quotation marks).• Put a comma after the tagline and quotation marks around the rest of the quote (including the end punctuation).Example: Well said George we’ll have a bigvegetable garden and a rabbit hutch andchickens.
  10. 10. Example• “Well,” said George, “we’ll have a big vegetable garden and a rabbit hutch and chickens.”
  11. 11. Additional Notes:• Start a new paragraph each time the speaker changes.• Sometimes if a dialogue is lengthy, you may not need a tag line each time a person speaks. Sometimes the back and forth of a conversation makes the speaker evident.

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