How to Dialogue

By Jaime Paxton

How to Punctuate Dialogue

Danny said, "Maybe, maybe not."


Notes:

  • Use comma after said before the quotation mark.
  • Capital letter after first quotation to show beginning of sentence.
  • A period at the end of the quoted sentence.
  • Then put ending quotation school.


When dialogue tag is at the end of the sentence.

"Maybe, maybe not," said Danny.


Notes:

  • Capital letter at the beginning of the sentence after first quotation.
  • A comma to end the quoted sentence, before ending quotation and before dialogue tag.
  • Dialogue tag at the ending with period.

When Dialogue Tag is Placed in the Middle.

"Maybe," Danny said, "maybe not."


Notes:

  • Capital letter to indicate the beginning of a sentence inside the first opening quotation mark.
  • A comma to end the quoted sentence before the closing quotation mark that precedes the dialogue tag.
  • A period at the end of the sentence (and after the dialogue tag) to indicate that the sentence with the first piece of quoted material has ended.
  • Capital letter to indicate the beginning of a sentence inside the second opening quotation mark.
  • The second piece of quoted material appearing on the same line as the first to indicate that the same person/speaker said both pieces of quoted material, even though the second piece of quoted material does not have a dialogue tag.
  • A period to end the quoted sentence.
  • Closing quotation mark.

When There is More then One Sentence Inside the Quotations.

"Maybe, maybe not. I don't know," said Danny.


Notes:

  • Capital letter to indicate the beginning of a sentence inside the opening quotation mark.
  • A period to end the first quoted sentence.
  • Capital letter to indicate the beginning of the second sentence inside the quotation marks.
  • A comma to end the second quoted sentence before the closing quotation mark and before the dialogue tag.
  • A period at the end of the sentence (and after the dialogue tag) to indicate that the sentence that contains both sentences of quoted material has ended.