When a speaker resumes speaking mid-sentence after an interruption, what case would be correct or better practice to use at the start of the sentence? As the resumed dialogue would not be a complete sentence, would this require lower case?

"When I was in the military, we had to watch out for scorpions—"

"Oh no, not more boring army stories."

"especially, the small brown ones, that could kill you!"

Here, I believe that the lower case e at the start of the sentence is correct.

  • Why the doubt? Can you elaborate on why an uppercase might be needed?
    – Kris
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 11:57
  • It looks fine to me. I'm not following a style guide here, but I would place a dash or an ellipsis in front of the lowercase e as well. Commented May 30, 2014 at 12:15
  • The doubt is because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I have seen different guidelines. Some guidelines recommend ellipses only for self-interrupted speech. "'Julie, I've wanted to say that..." John lost all his courage.' I feel ok with both but style guides seem to change fast. And if anyone could outline when to use em dash with no space, or em dash with shortened space, I'd be happy.
    – RoDaSm
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 12:53
  • I wouldn't use ellipsis, that's usually reserved for missing words (if someone has been cut off and you don't write those crucial missing ...). You might want to ask at writers.stackexchange.com/questions Try searching for 'interrupted speech'.
    – Frank
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 15:06
  • How do your favorite authors do it in today's novels? Imitate them.
    – F.E.
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


Because you are deliberately using fragments rather than full sentences, you could use the lower case e

Alternatively, you could include an ellipsis at the end of the first fragment or at the beginning of the second.

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