The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

Punctuaion in sentences containg direct speech. Options
BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 3:49:00 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
This thread follows on from one here. It's an attempt to see how speakers of BrE (we'll come to speakers of other varieties in a few days) punctuate sentences containing direct speech.

In the second post in this thread, I am going to put my punctuated version of the six sentences below. I'd be grateful if interested members would post their versions of sentences which they would punctuate in a different way from mine - or from those punctuated later by others. It will be interesting to say how much/little we differ. Thanks.

(I am fully aware that most of us would express the ideas in some of these sentences in a more natural way, for example, with indirect speech. This is an exercise in punctuation, not in good style.)

In the examples below, I have put the direct speech in red for clarity.

1. Emma said I like your hat
2. I like your hat said Emma
3. Emma said I like your hat when she bumped into Luke in the street
4. Emma asked Luke Where did you get that hat
5. Where did you get that hat Emma asked Luke
6. Did Emma say I like your hat
7. Did Emma say I like your hat when she bumped into Luke in the street
8. Did Emma ask Luke Where did you get that hat
9. Did Emma ask Luke Where did you get that hat and laugh at him
10. When Emma said Your hat looks silly Luke burst into tears.

BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 3:49:40 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic

1. Emma said "I like your hat".
2. "I like your hat" said Emma.
3. Emma said "I like your hat" when she bumped into Luke in the street.
4. Emma asked Luke "Where did you get that hat?".
5. "Where did you get that hat?" Emma asked Luke.
6. Did Emma say "I like your hat"?
7. Did Emma say "I like your hat" when she bumped into Luke in the street?
8. Did Emma ask Luke "Where did you get that hat?"?
9. "Did Emma ask Luke "Where did you get that hat?" and laugh at him?
10. When Emma said "Your hat looks silly", Luke burst into tears.

You'll note that:
when the internal punctuation mark is a full stop, I do not retain it (#1, #2, #3, #6, #7);
when the internal mark is a question mark, I retain it (#4, #5. #8, #9);
I always retain the external mark;
I do not separate the direct speech from the main sentence by a comma unless the sentence requires it for other reasons (#10).
Jason Frazzano
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 8:31:08 AM

Rank: Newbie

Joined: 10/7/2018
Posts: 1
Neurons: 223
Location: West Long Branch, New Jersey, United States
In general, in English, directly quoted speech is separated by commas, and end punctuation like a question mark or an exclamation point are included, while a period would usually be replaced by a comma.

Here is a relatively clear and famous example. from one of the U.S.'s best writers:

"Do they miss me?" she cried ecstatically.

"The whole town is desolate. All the cars have the left rear wheel painted black as a mourning wreath and there's a persistent wail all night along the North Shore."

"How gorgeous! Let's go back, Tom. Tomorrow!" Then she added irrelevantly, "You ought to see the baby."

"I'd like to."

"She's asleep. She's two years old. Haven't you ever seen her?"

"Never."

"Well, you ought to see her. She's----"

Tom Buchanan who had been hovering restlessly about the room stopped and rested his hand on my shoulder.

"What you doing, Nick?"

"I'm a bond man."

"Who with?"

I told him.

"Never heard of them," he remarked decisively.

This annoyed me.

"You will," I answered shortly. "You will if you stay in the East."
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 10:15:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 30,636
Neurons: 181,638
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
OK - I haven't read the other replies.
My "evolved style" is not the same as the one I learned in school.
According to my teachers, the first would be Emma said: "I like your hat."

1. Emma said "I like your hat."
2. "I like your hat" said Emma.
Personally, logically, I would have punctuated this as: "I like your hat." said Emma.
However, over the last few years, this has been 'drummed out of me'.
3. Emma said "I like your hat" when she bumped into Luke in the street.
4. Emma asked Luke "Where did you get that hat?"
5. "Where did you get that hat?" Emma asked Luke.
6. Did Emma say "I like your hat"?
7. Did Emma say "I like your hat" when she bumped into Luke in the street?
8. Did Emma ask Luke "Where did you get that hat?"?
9. Did Emma ask Luke "Where did you get that hat?" and laugh at him?
10. When Emma said "Your hat looks silly", Luke burst into tears.

ADDED after reading Bob's own suggestions:
In some cases (I don't know why some sentences 'seem' one way and other sentences 'seem' different), I would use a comma between Emma said "I like your hat" and an adverbial phrase.
Emma said "I like your hat", while adjusting her own.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 11:11:07 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Jason Frazzano wrote:
In general, in English, directly quoted speech is separated by ...


Could we keep this thread to the ten examples I posted, please?
BobShilling
Posted: Sunday, October 7, 2018 11:19:48 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

My "evolved style" is not the same as the one I learned in school.


Nor is mine. If my memory serves me right, I had to use commas with direct speech as in:

1. Emma said,"I like your hat".
2. "I like your hat," said Emma.

Thanks for your versions Drag0. Let's hope others offer theirs.
BobShilling
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 7:03:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/1/2018
Posts: 545
Neurons: 3,706
Location: Beroun, Stredocesky, Czech Republic
I am bumping this thread in the hope that others may join in. Contributions from speakers of all varieties of English are welcome - forget what I wrote in my first post.
FounDit
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 4:33:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 9,831
Neurons: 51,747
BobShilling wrote:
Drag0nspeaker wrote:

My "evolved style" is not the same as the one I learned in school.


Nor is mine. If my memory serves me right, I had to use commas with direct speech as in:

1. Emma said,"I like your hat".
2. "I like your hat," said Emma.

Thanks for your versions Drag0. Let's hope others offer theirs.


This is the style that looks correct to me.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2008-2018 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.