Punctuating Dialogue

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Punctuating Dialogue

Writers use dialogue to give characters voices and to advance the plot of a narrative. 

Punctuating Dialogue

Using dialogue requires a special set of punctuation rules. Look at how the writer uses dialogue in paragraphs 16–21 of Flipped.

My mom came out of the house and immediately got the world’s sappiest look on her
face. “Well, hello,” she says to Juli.
“Hi!”
I’m still trying to pull free, but the girl’s got me in a death grip. My mom’s grinning,
looking at our hands and my fiery red face. “And what’s your name, honey?”
“Julianna Baker. I live right over there,” she says, pointing with her unoccupied hand.
“Well, I see you’ve met my son,” she says, still grinning away.
“Uh-huh!”


When writing dialogue, remember these points: 

  1. • Place a character’s spoken words inside quotation marks (beginning and ending). 
  2. • Place the comma, exclamation mark, or question mark inside the ending quotation mark. If the quote is the end of the sentence, put the period inside the ending quotation mark, too. 
  3. • Capitalize the first word of dialogue. 
  4. • Start a new paragraph when a different character speaks.
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Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎

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