Dialogue tags

Read our latest author interview on Flashes >>HERE<< .

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11

Thread: Dialogue tags

  1. #1

    Dialogue tags

    Well, I finally made here (see greeting post/introduce yourself) thanks to Pip, mrmustard and the Admiral

    Okay. As my knowledge of writing is somewhere between ‘Thick and Plank’ I need a little help to understand the correct use of... Dialogue tags.


    “I’m not applying for that post,” said Dan.

    In the above example there is a comma inside the quotation marks. Have seen this many times, but why a comma?

    “I’m not applying for that post.” replied Dan.

    In the above example there is a full stop inside the quotation marks. Why a full stop? Is it correct to use a full stop in this way?

    All thoughts and guidance much appreciated.

    Helena

  2. #2
    I'm sure many, with a much better grasp of grammar, will respond, but I'm fairly certain that a full stop is not correct.
    Last edited by NathanBrazil; April 28th, 2015 at 01:50 AM.
    "I think it's blessed are the cheese makers." "...What's so special about the cheese makers?" - Life of Brian

  3. #3
    The first example is correct. Think of dialogue and the tag as parts of the same sentence.
    "The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all. It was a saying about noble figures in old Irish poems—he would give his hawk to any man that asked for it, yet he loved his hawk better than men nowadays love their bride of tomorrow. He would mourn a dog with more grief than men nowadays mourn their fathers.

    And that's how we measure out our real respect for people—by the degree of feeling they can register, the voltage of life they can carry and tolerate—and enjoy.
    "

    Live like a mighty river: a letter from Ted Hughes to his son, Nicholas

    Hidden Content


  4. #4
    I was taught that you use a comma instead of a period in spoken words, and that the comma goes within the quotation marks. If the spoken words are a question or an exclamation, however, you need to put the "?" or "!" within the quotation marks.

    There may be alternative schools of thought to what I was taught, but I haven't really seen them in print.
    Wisdom is seldom boisterous.

    -- a guy I know --

    If you're into hillbilly themed pornography (and, really, who ISN'T these days?), check out Hidden Content and Hidden Content . There's no pornography, but everything IS written by a hillbilly.

  5. #5
    Hi, all, thanks for the input/help. So. Excluding "?" or "!" we know that we use a comma for spoken words, as in.... “I’m not applying for that post,” said Dan. But what about....“I’m not applying for that post,” replied Dan. Or... “I’m not applying for that post,” moaned Dan. I guess what I'm asking is...is there a time/scenario when a full stop would be used at the end of spoken words, as in...
    "I don't care what you think." came the reply.

    Helena

  6. #6
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," he said.

    She looked up from her book. "Except sometimes you use dialogue without attribution." She stared out the window, then added, "And sometimes you do your attribution first." She grinned at the thought.
    Wisdom is seldom boisterous.

    -- a guy I know --

    If you're into hillbilly themed pornography (and, really, who ISN'T these days?), check out Hidden Content and Hidden Content . There's no pornography, but everything IS written by a hillbilly.

  7. #7
    So in other words, all the following examples are correct?
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," he said.
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," he replied.
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," replied Dan.
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," uttered Margo under her breath.

  8. #8
    All correct in my book, Helena!
    Wisdom is seldom boisterous.

    -- a guy I know --

    If you're into hillbilly themed pornography (and, really, who ISN'T these days?), check out Hidden Content and Hidden Content . There's no pornography, but everything IS written by a hillbilly.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Helena View Post
    “I’m not applying for that post,” said Dan.

    In the above example there is a comma inside the quotation marks. Have seen this many times, but why a comma?
    Because the sentence isn't finished until you've made it clear who spoke that.

    "Life is a risk; so is writing. You have to love it." ~ Richard Matheson

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Helena View Post
    So in other words, all the following examples are correct?
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," he said.
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," he replied.
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," replied Dan.
    "You always use a comma instead of a full stop for dialogue attribution," uttered Margo under her breath.
    Yes, except in the case of '?' and (!). These are full stops treated like commas in dialogue.
    “Fools” said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed in the wells of silence : Simon & Garfunkel


    Those who enjoy stirring the chamber-pot should be required to lick the spoon.

    Our job as writers is to make readers dream, to infiltrate their minds with our words and create a new reality; a reality not theirs, and not ours, but a new, unique combination of both.

    Visit Amazon and the Kindle Store to check out Reflections in a Black Mirror, and Chase

    Hidden Content






Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
This website uses cookies
We use cookies to store session information to facilitate remembering your login information, to allow you to save website preferences, to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners.