How do I punctuate when using quotes?

“There were more?” Asked Wendy.


"There were more," asked Wendy?

"He was amazing!" Exclaimed Billy.


"He was amazing," exclaimed Billy!


Although the first version in each case is closer to being appropriate, neither is completely correct.

The sentences should be formatted as follows:

"There were more?" asked Wendy.
"He was amazing!" exclaimed Billy.

Although question and exclamation marks normally end a sentence, if they come before a quotation mark in the middle of mixed dialogue where the sentence continues, then the sentence does not actually end and there shouldn't be a capital letter indicating it does.

Therefore, the next word has its initial letter in lowercase. (Unless, of course, it's a proper name or some other word that would have a capital letter regardless of its position in any sentence.)

You may find Beth Hill's blog post "Punctuation in Dialogue" to be useful. It addresses this and similar issues.

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  • Yep. And if the sentence continues after the end of the quote, then a comma will usually only replace a period (or a lack of punctuation) at the end of the quote; question marks and exclamation points in the quote will remain and not be replaced with a comma. – V2Blast Aug 23 '18 at 20:12

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