1. writerdude11
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    writerdude11 Member

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    Grammar question...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by writerdude11, Mar 23, 2013.

    When in dialogue, should a period ALWAYS go at the end of the sentence and BEFORE the quotations if theres not like a question mark or some other character?. Ive posted an example so you guys can see. Hope you can help with this, thanks!

    "Yes, let's go(period here?)" Susan said "Thanks again!" Susan said smiling and waving with Emilio and Chance doing the same. Emily and her husband

    waved and looked on in kindness as they hopped into the U-haul. As soon as they hopped in, Emilio couldn't help but tell Susan and Chance what the

    lady said.
     
  2. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    "Yes, let's go," Susan said. "Thanks again!" She smiled and waved. Emilio and Chance did the same.

    Note that there's a comma after "let's go," not a period. Also, because you've already included the "Susan said" dialogue tag, there's no need to repeat it after "Thanks again!"
     
  3. writerdude11
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    writerdude11 Member

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    so is it always a comma if theres no other type of punctuation?
     
  4. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's a comma if what follows after the closing quote is a dialogue tag. If what follows the quote is some other action, then it can be a period. For example:

    "Let's go," Susan said. (Dialogue tag, so it's a comma.)

    "Let's go." Susan put the car in gear. (An action, not a dialogue tag, so it's a period.)

    Exceptions are made in the cases of question marks and exclamation marks:

    "Shall we go?" Susan asked. (No comma because it's a question.)

    "Let's go!" Susan shouted as the zombies came closer. (No comma because of the exclamation mark.)

    Grab just about any novel and you'll see how it's done. (A few writers like to experiment with dialogue, like James Joyce and Cormac McCarthy. They might not follow this kind of format. But most novels do.)
     

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