1. Maxitoutwriter
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    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    Quotations? How do you know when to put a comma and when to put a period?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Maxitoutwriter, Sep 16, 2014.

    What is the rule?

    Like if I were saying, "That is not very nice, (.?)" she said.

    How do I know when it requires a period and when it requires a comma? I was critiqued on this once, so I figure there must be a rule about it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    You should always put a comma instead of a period at the end as long as you don't begin a new sentence/paragraph after the dialogue.
    A couple of examples:
    The quotations and tags (she said and Mark answered) belong to the same sentences, therefore commas are used.

    ____

    After each quotation a new paragraph begins, so periods should be used.

    ____

    After the last quotation a new sentence begins, therefore there should be a period.

    ____

    Okay, maybe not the best explanation... I hope it'll be enough until someone else can explain it better... ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  3. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I agree with most of @Komposten's post. The only thing I have a problem with is the last example. The phrases "I know, but I've been so busy at work" and "there's just so much to do" are separate sentences and should be separated by a period. So you would write it like this:

    "I know, but I've been so busy at work," Mark said. "There's just so much to do."

    The only time you would use a comma is when you split the dialogue like so:

    "If you want to use a comma," said Jack, "you would do so like this."

    What you're doing is placing the tag in the middle of an otherwise complete sentence.
     
  5. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks, I edited my original post. Though I changed it so I could keep the comma. :)
     
  6. Maxitoutwriter
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    Maxitoutwriter Member

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    Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it.
     

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