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Rules for Formatting and Punctuating Dialogue. Rule #1. Use quotation marks to begin and end a direct quotation. Separate the quotation from the rest of the sentence by commas. Do not use quotation marks to set off an indirect quotation.

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rule 1
Rule #1
  • Use quotation marks to begin and end a direct quotation. Separate the quotation from the rest of the sentence by commas. Do not use quotation marks to set off an indirect quotation.
which of these sentences is an indirect quotation and which is a direct quotation how do you know
Which of these sentences is an indirect quotation and which is a direct quotation? How do you know?

A. The Hamburglar said, “I’ve come to steal your hamburger.”

B. The Hamburglar said that he had come to steal my hamburger.

Answer:

  • Sentence A is a direct quotation because it states the Hamburglar’s exact words.
  • Sentence B is an indirect quotation because it states what the Hamburglar said but not in his own words.
rule 2
Rule #2
  • The speaker’s words are set off from the rest of the sentence with quotation marks, and the first word of the quotation is capitalized. When the end of the quotation is also the end of the sentence, the period falls inside the quotation marks.
which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation
Which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation?

A. Luchadora Lilly told Police Chief Acosta, “don’t worry. I’ll help you get the thugs off the streets of Los Angeles.”

B. Luchadora Lilly told Police Chief Acosta, “Don’t worry. I’ll help you get the thugs off the streets of Los Angeles.”

C. Luchadora Lilly told Police Chief Acosta “,Don’t worry. I’ll help you get the thugs off the streets of Los Angeles”.

Answer: B

rule 3
Rule #3
  • Both parts of a divided quotation are enclosed in quotation marks. The first word of the second part is not capitalized unless it begins a new sentence.
which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation1
Which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation?

A. “Luchadora Lilly”, answered the Chief “don’t worry about the thugs. You just help the Pirates with their homework”.

B. “Luchadora Lilly,” answered the Chief, “Don’t worry about the thugs. Just help the Pirates with their homework.”

C. “Luchadora Lilly,” answered the Chief, “don’t worry about the thugs. Just help the Pirates with their homework.”

Answer: C

rule 4
Rule #4

If there is question mark or an exclamation point where one of the separating commas should be, take out the comma and put in the question mark or exclamation point in its place.

which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation2
Which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation?

A. “Is Ms. Acosta a strict teacher?” asked the new student.

B. The new student asked if, “Ms. Acosta is a strict teacher?”

C. “Is Ms. Acosta a strict teacher,” asked the new student.

Answer: A

rule 5
Rule #5
  • When you write dialogue, begin a new paragraph whenever the speaker changes. Begin a new paragraph by hitting Enter and then Tab.
which is the correct way to capitalize punctuate and format this dialogue
Which is the correct way to capitalize, punctuate and format this dialogue?

A.

“Did you hear what Pedro told Ms. A?” “No, I just heard he told her off because she took away his iPod.” “Well, he called her a word that is so inappropriate I can’t even repeat it!”

B.

“Did you hear what Pedro told Ms. A?”

“No, I just heard he told her off because she took away his iPod.”

“Well, he called her a word that is so inappropriate I can’t even repeat it.”

Answer: B

rule 6
Rule #6
  • If you need to have one character directly quoting another character, then use double quotes for your main dialogue and single quotes for the quote-within-a- quote.
which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation3
Which is the correct way to capitalize and punctuate this quotation?

A. Ms. Lilly told Ms. A, “Pedro asked, “Do you think Ms. A will accept my apology for disrespecting her?””

B. Ms. Lilly told Ms. A, “Pedro asked ‘Do you think Ms. A will accept my apology for disrespecting her?’”

C. Ms. Lilly told Ms. A, “Pedro asked, ‘Do you think Ms. A will accept my apology for disrespecting her?’”

Answer: C