I told him, “Sure I would,” and left.

Not sure what the technical term for this is, but I see it basically as the equivalent of continued dialogue. Can I do this?

  • Hello, marigolds. Good questions on ELU are accompanied by a certain amount of reasonable research. Even if this fails to produce the answer required (and this may well be the situation here), it shows users where not to look. And that the questioner has made some effort to answer the question themself. Also, this question is essentially about punctuation styles (in a fringe case) rather than grammar. / By analogy with << "Sure I will," said John, "but now I've got to go." >> I'd say your example is fine. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 at 14:57
  • where should I have posted about a fringe case? – marigolds Jun 5 at 18:50
  • It's not the content of the question (fringe cases are often what ELU is about), but the fact that there's no research shown, that's a problem. I was just addressing the 'grammaticality' tag and saying 'punctuation' style is probably more contentious than whether this quotative style is permissible. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 at 18:59
  • okay, I was just listing whatever I could think of and punctuation does have to do with grammar. Also I definitely did do research but just couldn't find anything. That's why I'm here. – marigolds Jun 5 at 23:01
  • But you didn't say what research you'd done. That counts as signs of trying here. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 6 at 16:58

Reference: Self-Publishing School: Written Dialogue Examples

Yes, the format you have used is correct.

When adding dialogue, you separate it from the initial clause with a comma outside of the quotes--outside because it's not part of what was said:

I told him, "Sure...

Note that the first letter of the first word of the dialogue is capitalized.

When adding additional detail, you add a comma inside the quotes and then add the detail outside the quotes. This only applies to commas. You should not omit other punctuation that adds meaning or clarity to the sentence, such as an exclamation point or question mark:

..."Sure I would," and left.

Note that the first letter of the first word after the dialogue is lowercase, no matter the punctuation that ends the dialogue, so long as the dialogue doesn't end with an action verb.

  • (a) After checking your reference reasonably thoroughly (you haven't pinpointed a relevant section), I haven't found an example exactly matching OP's example. (b) Though I admit that exact representations of what is printed on a sign, in a manuscript etc may have say: << The signs read 'It is sure to please.' and 'It is good value for money.' >>, using << "Sure I would." and left. >> for direct speech is non-standard. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 5 at 14:53
  • Glad to know I can do this! But are you sure it's an alternative to have a period at the end of "would" if you wanted, with "and" being left lower case? Doesn't look right to me! – marigolds Jun 5 at 18:53
  • The reason it would be okay, and perhaps more correct, is that the period after "would" pertains to the sentence that was spoken and not to the clauses outside of the quoted dialogue. That is also the reason why "and" would also not be capitalized. Commas at the end of quoted dialogue usually lead into a dialogue tag (e.g. she said, he murmured, I whispered, etc.). – Jordan Stubblefield Jun 5 at 19:04
  • Mm just seems like the quote shouldn't end with a full stop until the surrounding sentence has ended! Maybe someone can dig up an official source to settle this. I wish I knew the term for this kind of grammar instance...like, inverted continued dialogue ? 🤔 – marigolds Jun 5 at 20:44
  • 1
    You cannot end the quotation with a period and then continue the sentence. There is no style guide I've ever read that has this be acceptable. If you use a period, you have to start a new sentence. – Jason Bassford Jun 6 at 14:36

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