Friday, February 10, 2012

Checking Punctuating Dialogue

Punctuating dialogue

1.   The teacher said,   "In this class there will be no talking, chewing, breathing, unnecessary eye movements, or tap dancing."

2.  I questioned,  "Are you up on the furniture again,  you bad dog?  Get down now!"

3.  "I just finished reading The Lost Hero,"  she remarked.
     "So what did you think of it?"  I asked.
     "It was excellent!" she exclaimed.   
     I agreed, "I loved it too."  

4.  "I wish today were Friday," she said.  "I’ve been looking forward to it for months now."
     "How come?"  he asked.
     "Because finally I’m supposed to get my braces taken off.   At least that’s what my orthodontist promised."   

Here is an example from Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter:

     "I can't; I won't!" Justine said, her hands flying up to cover her neck.
     "But think of all the advantages," the vampire said.
     "Like what?"
     "You'll live forever."
     "And watch all the people I love grow old and die?"
     "You can meet new people."
     "And suck out their blood."
     "There's another advantage too."
     "Forget it.  My mind is made up."
     "Just listen."
     "Your skin will look great.  You'll never get another zit."
     "Really?" Justine's hands slowly moved away from her neck. "Not even if I eat chocolate?" 

The Low-Down on Punctuating Dialogue
Using quotation marks mini-lesson

Rules: Quotation Marks and Punctuation

  • Use quotation marks at the beginning and end of a direct quotation. Do not use them, however, to set off an indirect quotation.

    • Bob said, "I doubled my money in the stock market last month!"
    • Bob lied about doubling his money in the stock market last month.
  • Punctuate a speaker's words with a comma, question mark, or exclamation point inside the quotation.

    • Bob cried, "I'm ruined!"
    • Bob wondered, "Am I ruined?"
    • "I'm happier than Lenny at a petting zoo," Bob's enemy said.
  • Place a comma after explanatory words (he said, for example)
  • In dialogue, begin a new paragraph each time the speaker changes and use a separate set of quotation marks.
  • Use single quotation marks when using quotation marks inside of quotation marks.

    • He said, "I know she said, 'Let's go to the Dominican Republic, this summer,' but I'd rather go to Hawaii."
  • Put a colon or semicolon outside the closing quotation mark

    • Here are things "not to do": thing 1, thing 2, thing 3.
  • If a sentence that includes a quotation is a question or exclamation, place the question mark or exclamation point outside the quotation marks. 

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