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Guidelines for writing Poems, Stories and Tales

Use of commas with non-dialogue-tag verbs before and after dialogue



How it works: A comma is used before the dialogue tag and goes INSIDE quotation marks. Unless the dialogue tag begins with a proper noun, it is not capitalized. A comma is used after the dialogue tag, OUTSIDE of quotation marks, to reintroduce the dialogue.

Do you put a comma after a dialogue tag?

Place dialogue tags at the beginning of a sentence.



When placing dialogue tags at the beginning of complete sentences, a comma should come after the dialogue tag. If the dialogue comes at the start of a new sentence, the first word of the sentence should have a capital letter.

Do you put a comma before dialogue?

Dialogue is punctuated by quotation marks to show when it begins and ends. Dialogue will usually include a dialogue tag to describe who is speaking. You would then use common punctuation marks within the quotation marks, such as commas, periods, question marks and exclamation points.

How do you punctuate a dialogue tag?





Dialogue tags are always punctuated with a comma, unless the speech is interrupted and a new sentence begins with a capital letter (see example 5). Dialogue always starts with a capital letter, unless a sentence is interrupted by a tag or action and the same sentence then continues.

How do you punctuate dialogue tags and action beats?

Punctuating Dialogue

  1. Dialogue tags: Dialogue tags are punctuated with commas and double quotation marks. …
  2. Action beats: Action beats are punctuated with periods (or other terminal punctuations like exclamation points or question marks).

How do you write an action before a dialogue?

If the tag comes before the dialogue, use a comma straight after the tag. Start the dialogue with a capital letter: John said, “It’s so gloomy out.” If the tag comes after the dialogue, end the dialogue with a comma, even if it’s a full sentence.

How do you write an action after dialogue?

While dialogue tags and action beats can have the same function—identifying the speaker—they aren’t punctuated the same. If a line of dialogue is followed by a dialogue tag, use a comma (or a question mark or exclamation mark) before the closing quotation mark.



What is a dialogue tag examples?



“Amy said,” “Amy inhaled,” “Amy exclaimed,” and “Amy said enthusiastically” are all different examples of dialogue tags. We’re going to talk about which ones work, and which are less effective. Dialogue tags are invisible and useful when done well, but they can kick a reader out of a story so quickly when they aren’t.

Where does the period after a dialogue go?

Dialogue punctuation

  1. Tag Line. The tag line is the statement before the dialogue that typically signifies who the speaker is. …
  2. Dialogue Ending Sentence. With dialogue ending a sentence, the period should stay within the quotation marks. …
  3. Question Inside of Quotation Marks. …
  4. Question Mark Outside of Quotation Marks.


How do you use dialogue correctly?

How to Format Dialogue in a Story

  1. Use Quotation Marks to Indicate Spoken Word. …
  2. Dialogue Tags Stay Outside the Quotation Marks. …
  3. Use a Separate Sentence for Actions That Happen Before or After the Dialogue. …
  4. Use Single Quotes When Quoting Something Within the Dialogue. …
  5. Use a New Paragraph to Indicate a New Speaker.

What do you put after dialogue?

Unless the dialogue tag begins with a proper noun, it is not capitalized. A comma is used after the dialogue tag, OUTSIDE of quotation marks, to reintroduce the dialogue. End the dialogue with the appropriate punctuation (period, exclamation point, or question mark), but keep it INSIDE the quotation marks.

How do you write dialogue correctly?

How to Format Dialogue in a Story

  1. Use Quotation Marks to Indicate Spoken Word. …
  2. Dialogue Tags Stay Outside the Quotation Marks. …
  3. Use a Separate Sentence for Actions That Happen Before or After the Dialogue. …
  4. Use Single Quotes When Quoting Something Within the Dialogue. …
  5. Use a New Paragraph to Indicate a New Speaker.

How do you put dialogue in a quote?

Quoting a portion of dialogue: If you quote something a character says, use double quotation marks on the outside ends of the quotation to indicate that you are quoting a portion of the text. Use single quotation marks inside the double quotation marks to indicate that someone is speaking. “‘Thou art not my child!



How do you write dialogue in the middle of a sentence?

Inserted into the middle of a sentence. A dialogue tag can be inserted into the middle of a sentence. When this happens, the dialogue tag is set off with commas, and the sentence is capitalized as if the dialogue tag weren’t there. Right: “Andy,” his mother called, “come here now!”

What is a dialogue tag examples?

“Amy said,” “Amy inhaled,” “Amy exclaimed,” and “Amy said enthusiastically” are all different examples of dialogue tags. We’re going to talk about which ones work, and which are less effective. Dialogue tags are invisible and useful when done well, but they can kick a reader out of a story so quickly when they aren’t.

What are the 7 rules of punctuation dialogue?

8 Essential Rules for Punctuating Dialogue – article

  • Use a comma to introduce text. …
  • Use a comma when a dialogue tag follows a quote. …
  • Periods and commas fall within closing quotations. …
  • Question marks, exclamation points, and dashes fall inside or outside closing quotations. …
  • Use single quotes when using quotes within dialogue.