Punctuation when using inline dialogue?

Asked by: Scott Sirgio

In both US and UK styles, if the sentence ends in the say you describe then the period goes inside the final quotation mark because it is not only terminating the sentence but is part of the syntax of the quotation itself. Also in both US and UK styles, the only place for a period is at the end of a sentence.

What punctuation should be used when there is dialogue?

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.

What are the 7 rules of punctuation dialogue?

7 Punctuation rules for dialogue

  • Use a comma when the dialogue tag follows the quote.
  • All additional punctuation marks inside quotes.
  • Capitalize for new sentences.
  • Start a new paragraph for a new speaker.
  • Use a comma when a tag proceeds the dialogue.
  • Multiple paragraphs of dialogue.
  • Quotations within a dialogue.
  • Summary.

Should you always end a line of dialogue with a period?

If no tag follows the text, end the dialogue with punctuation to end the spoken sentence. This rule applies only to periods. You should not omit other punctuation that adds meaning or clarity to the sentence, such as an exclamation point or question mark.

How do you punctuate dialogue within a quote?

Enclose the first part of the dialogue in quotation marks but omit the comma. Follow the end quotation mark with an em dash and the action or thought and then another em dash. Resume the dialogue with another opening quotation mark, complete the dialogue, and end with a period and a closing quotation mark.

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Do you put a comma after an exclamation mark in dialogue?


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.

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 after a comma in dialogue?

A comma is used before the dialogue tag and goes INSIDE quotation marks. 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.

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. โ€œThis is my favorite dress,โ€ said Sally. โ€œI put your keys on top of the dresser,โ€ Mark insisted.

How do you write grammatically correct dialogue?

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.