Is the punctuation of my dialogue in this novel section correct?

Asked by: Lisa Diaz

How do you punctuate dialogue in a novel?

Dialogue is punctuated by quotation marks to show when it begins and ends. Dialogue will usually include a dialogue tag to describe who is speaking. You would then use common punctuation marks within the quotation marks, such as commas, periods, question marks and exclamation points.

Is there punctuation in dialogue?

With dialogue, specific punctuation is needed. Most often, commas and periods go within the quotation marks, but there are some forms of punctuation and examples that go outside of the quotation marks.

Which bit of dialogue has correct punctuation?


If a line of dialogue is followed by a dialogue tag, use a comma (or a question mark or exclamation mark) before the closing quotation mark. If the first word of the dialogue tag is a pronoun such as he or she, lowercase it.

How do you punctuate dialogue examples?

B. Dialogue punctuation (e.g. comma, full stop, question mark, exclamation mark, ellipses)

  1. “I’m not sure if I like this,” Ruth said. “It’s scary.”
  2. “Haven’t you done this before?” John asked, looking amused.
  3. “No. Wait!” Ruth took a step back. “It’s … a lot higher than I thought.”

How do you write dialogue correctly?

Here are the main rules for writing dialogue:

  1. Each speaker gets a new paragraph. …
  2. Each paragraph is indented. …
  3. Punctuation for what’s said goes inside the quotation marks. …
  4. Long speeches with several paragraphs don’t have end quotations. …
  5. Use single quotes if the person speaking is quoting someone else.

What are the rules for writing dialogue?

11 rules of dialogue

  • Use dialogue tags. …
  • Use a variety of dialogue tags. …
  • Separate new speakers. …
  • Punctuate inside quotation marks. …
  • Remove quotation marks for multiple paragraphs. …
  • Capitalize only at the start of sentences. …
  • Use single quotes within the dialogue. …
  • Remove unnecessary parts.
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How do you quote dialogue in a story?

Quoting a portion of dialogue: If you quote something a character says, use double quotation marks on the outside ends of the quotation to indicate that you are quoting a portion of the text. Use single quotation marks inside the double quotation marks to indicate that someone is speaking.

When should punctuation be outside of quotation marks?

Place a question mark or exclamation point within closing quotation marks if the punctuation applies to the quotation itself. Place the punctuation outside the closing quotation marks if the punctuation applies to the whole sentence.

Do you capitalize the first word after dialogue?

Dialogue h

Dialogue begins with a capitalized word, no matter where in the sentence it begins. (Interrupted dialogue, when it resumes, is not capped.) Only direct dialogue requires quotation marks.

Is the word after dialogue capitalized?

Unless the dialogue tag begins with a proper noun, it is not capitalized. A comma is used after the dialogue tag, OUTSIDE of quotation marks, to reintroduce the dialogue. End the dialogue with the appropriate punctuation (period, exclamation point, or question mark), but keep it INSIDE the quotation marks.

How do you punctuate British dialogue?

British English uses single quotation marks to indicate quotations or dialogue. The UWSC says, ‘This is how British people do it.

How do you punctuate a story within a story?

‘How, then,’ you might ask, ‘would I include quotation within the story?’ Do everything totally normally, and use a single inverted comma instead of a double one. If you use the apostrophe key on your keyboard, smart quotes usually figure out how to orient the little ticks.”

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When should punctuation be outside of quotation marks?

Place a question mark or exclamation point within closing quotation marks if the punctuation applies to the quotation itself. Place the punctuation outside the closing quotation marks if the punctuation applies to the whole sentence.

What are the 3 rules for using quotations?

Quotation Marks

  • Rule 1. Use double quotation marks to set off a direct (word-for-word) quotation. …
  • Rule 2a. Always capitalize the first word in a complete quotation, even midsentence. …
  • Rule 2b. Do not capitalize quoted material that continues a sentence. …
  • Rule 3a. …
  • Rule 3b. …
  • Rule 3c. …
  • Rule 4. …
  • Rule 5a.

Does ending punctuation go inside quotes?

In American usage, commas and periods at the end of quotes always go inside the quotation marks. In British usage, they can go either inside or outside.

How do you use dialogue in a quote?

Use single quotes when using quotes within dialogue

Use a pair of single quotes nested within doubles to indicate quoted text within dialogue. Note that there is no added space in between the closing single and double quotation mark.

How do you use commas and quotation marks in dialogue?

Rule #1: Use Quote Marks and Commas

Surround your dialogue with quotation marks and end it with a comma before the last quote mark. End with the dialogue tag to identify the speaker. “This is my favorite dress,” said Sally. “I put your keys on top of the dresser,” Mark insisted.

Where do punctuation marks go?

Do commas and periods go inside or outside quotation marks? Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks in American English; dashes, colons, and semicolons almost always go outside the quotation marks; question marks and exclamation marks sometimes go inside, sometimes stay outside.

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How do you quote something someone said?

Use double quotation marks (“”) around a direct quote. A direct quote is a word- for-word report of what someone else said or wrote. You use the exact words and punctuation of the original. Harriet Jacobs writes, “She sat down, quivering in every limb” (61).

Do you put a comma after a question mark in dialogue?

The question mark at the end of the question serves as the closing punctuation. No additional question mark is needed or should be used. Welcome to the forum! A comma should not follow a question mark in dialogue.