An announcer is saying, "Please welcome our very own John Smith!"

The announcer pauses after "welcome."

I'm trying to write it like this:

"Please welcome," He pauses for effect. "our very own John Smith!"

I'm just not sure how to punctuate and capitalize it. Should "he" be capitalized? Should effect have a comma or a period after it? Should "our" be capitalized? Is there a way to do this without moving the words around?

I understand there might not be a conventional way to do this, so if you have any ideas about what feels most natural to you, please do leave a comment!

  • 2
    I would make "he" lower-case and put a comma after "effect".
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 2, 2015 at 3:56
  • paused, past tense.
    – Mazura
    Feb 2, 2015 at 4:02
  • 3
    @Mazura pauses, present historic.
    – Andrew Leach
    Feb 2, 2015 at 6:59
  • Why not this? "Please welcome... our very own John Smith!" Feb 2, 2015 at 16:26

5 Answers 5


"Please welcome" — he pauses for effect — "our very own John Smith!"


I'd say that it's counted just the same as "he said" within a sentence.

"Please welcome," he says, "our John Smith!"

"Please welcome," he drawls, pausing for effect, "our John Smith!"

"Please welcome," he pauses for effect, "our John Smith!"

This last seems wrong, to me, sadly, whether you surround it in commas, braces, brackets or em-dashes.

He doesn't pause for effect the "please welcome": he says it. Or intones it, or something. But he is pausing as he does so. So the act of speaking feels like it needs to be mentioned there, too.


This kind of sentence would usually be stated like this:

The announcer said, "Please welcome," then, pausing for effect, "our very own John Smith!"


"He pauses for effect" is like a stage direction, and a commonly used convention is to put stage directions in italics and to isolate them somehow, perhaps by putting them in brackets, in parentheses, or outdenting them. E.g.

Please welcome [he pauses for effect], our very own John Smith!


Well, I'm late, but the sentence should still always be written as a complete sentence, even if with dialogue. To make it a complete sentence, you need to connect the fragments with a transition word: "and", "then", etc. Long dashes work too, but are less elegant.

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