1. Crave
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    Punctuation in dialogue?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Crave, Jul 29, 2009.

    I get really confused when I'm writing dialogue between characters. Sometimes I see dialogues ended with commas and not periods, exclamation points, etc.

    Is there a rule for this?
     
  2. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    If the naration following the dialogue doesn't describe the dialogue, then you end it with a full stop.

    E.g. 'Hello.' Rob raised his hand and waved.

    If the dialogue has a dialogue tag (e.g. he said, she asked, etc- basically something that describes the dialogue) then the dialogue ends with a comma.

    E.g. 'Hello,' Rob said.

    If the dialogue is a question, then you end it with a question mark, regardless of whether it's followed by a dialogue tag (but the dialogue tag is still part of the same sentence as the dialogue, despite the question mark).

    E.g. 'Where are you going?' she asked.

    And you can use an exclamation mark with or without a dialogue tag, in place of a comma or full stop (but if there is a dialogue tag, it remains part of the same sentence as the dialogue, in the same way as with the question mark).

    E.g. 'Stop!' she shouted.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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  4. Crave
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    Thank you both very much.
     

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