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  1. Jaden
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    Jaden New Member

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    "Blah," or "Blah."

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Jaden, Mar 5, 2009.

    My sister and i have had heated debates on whether a thought and/or remark in dialogue needs a comma or a period for punctuation. For example,


    “Hey, you never know what could happen when you’re gone,”

    “No! You’re not allowed within a hundred mile radius to Nate while I’m gone.” I quickly spit out. A feeling of hostility crawled over me and my muscles became tense.


    See how the comma and period could be switched? Let me know any knowledge you can possibly shed on my dilemma. It would be most helpful.

    -J
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If the dialogue is followed by a dialogue tag (e.g. he said, she shouted, or your example), then you use a comma, as the dialogue tag relates to the dialogue.

    If the dialogue stands alone, without a tag, then you use a period to end the sentance.

    Examples:

    'It's a lovely day,' she said.

    'It's a lovely day.'

    It's a lovely day.' She took a drink from her water bottle.



    I hope that helps clear it up.
     
  3. marina
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    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    When I used to have questions about punctuating dialogue, I used to open up a book (a well-written one) and see how the author did it.



    With your examples, I'm not sure if there are 2 people speaking. If there are, then I'd do this:

    "Hey, you never know what could happen when you're gone," she said.

    "No! You're not allowed within a hundred mile radius of Nate while I'm gone," I quickly spit out. A feeling of...


    Also, Cogito's got more examples of the mechanics of dialogue on his blog.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Here's a blog entry on this site discussing your question and more about formatting dialogue: He said, she said - Mechanics of Dialogue
     

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