"People here are doing there best," he said, "We have to support them."

My coworker told me that I shouldn't use commas between "he/she said". Is there any truth to that?

Sorry for my ignorance. I'm not a native speaker.


This is the standard way to punctuate that text:

"People here are doing their best," he said. "We have to support them."

The comma ends the quotation, which is part of the larger sentence, which ends with a period. The next quotation is a complete sentence on its own, so it gets both quotes and a period at the end.

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  • 1
    +1 This is the correct punctuation because there are two sentences. However, it could have been a single sentence, in which case two commas would have been appropriate: "People here are doing their best," he said, "and we have to support them." – Jason Bassford Aug 2 '18 at 23:03

'Nope, ignore your co-worker,' he said, 'You should always have some form of punctuation before a speech mark; in this case, your well-placed comma!'

Taken from Oxford Dictionary:

If the direct speech is broken up by information about who is speaking, you need a comma (or a question mark or exclamation mark) to end the first piece of speech and a full stop or another comma before the second piece (before the inverted comma or commas):

‘You’re right,’ he said. ‘It feels strange.’

‘Thinking back,’ she said, ‘he didn’t expect to win.’

‘No!’ he cried. ‘You can’t leave now!’

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  • I would certainly include a comma in this instance, but I think I would place it after the speech mark. I think it is a bit dogmatic to say "you should always have some form of punctuation before a speech mark". – WS2 Aug 2 '18 at 21:22
  • You are right - there is an exemption. If you start your text with speech, then there is no punctuation before the speech mark. Otherwise, however, there always is. – Inoutguttiwutts Aug 2 '18 at 22:00

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