1. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    "blahblahblah," she said, "Blah?"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Link the Writer, Dec 20, 2011.

    I'm confused about this grammar.

    Let's say you have a phrase like "No, I don't think so," Joseph said, "But you could be right."

    Shouldn't it instead be, "No, I don't think so," Joseph said, "but you could be right."

    Also, when they're referencing someone using he/she, I assumed it should be, "No, I don't think so," Joseph said, "She could be right." because 'she' is referring to a female character that they know.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    I would go with the second version because it is still part of the discourse.
    the first clause still runs into the second clause.
     
  3. Protar
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    Protar Active Member

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    Yeah I agree with... with Cacian. It's all part of the same sentence, so just imagine taking out the middle part and squishing the outer bits together if that makes sense.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Also agree with "No, I don't think so," Joseph said, "but you could be right."

    However, the second sentence should be "No, I don't think so," Joseph said. "She could be right." or "No, I don't think so," Joseph said, "but she could be right."
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes... the previous poster is correct...
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it depends on what Joseph actually said. Did he say the following?

    "No, I don't think so. But you could be right."

    This implies that Joe had an afterthought. To make that extra clear, I would probably present it with a beat rather than a tag.

    No, I don't think so." Joseph frowned, then shrugged and reached for the phone. "But you could be right."

    On the other hand, if Joseph said:

    "No, I don't think so, but you could be right."

    then the punctuation would be:

    "No, I don't think so," Joseph said, "but you could be right."

    ChickenFreak
     

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