If you were writing a quote structured like this... 'You were right Izzy!', said Ted, 'there is something we can do.'

… would be correct to have a fullstop after 'Ted' and a capital letter for 'there' (because it is two separate phrases) or would it be correct to write it as I have typed it above (because they are still spoken by the same person and so are connected, and a capital is not required)?

Also, would this alter if the example were something like 'It's no use,' said Fred, 'go on without me.' (e.g. would that need a full stop and a capital after 'Fred', or does the above work?)

Thank you!

  • 3
    I would probably use 'You were right Izzy!', said Ted. 'There is something we can do.' The first sentence ends with "!", so "There" begins a new sentence. And you maintain continuity of speaker by keeping it all in a single paragraph, starting a new paragraph when speakers change.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 2:24
  • While the modern relaxed approach (others still exist!) to punctuation would allow 'You were right Izzy!' said Ted, 'there is something we can do.' (double punctuation is a last resort for clarification, but sentence-medial exclamation and question marks are used by fine authors), splitting into two sentences is less messy. But you may prefer the less staccato effect of the comma .... Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 10:51
  • You need to think how you would punctuate "'It's no use [?] go on without me." Sans "said Fred". What replaces [?]? If you're OK with a comma, then it can be one sentence, if you think that's wrong, then you'd split it into 2 sentences. It's a judgment call.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 14:37

1 Answer 1


Taking your "Fred" example:

"It's no use," said Fred. "Go on without me."

The more common style is to end the first phrase by identifying who is speaking, and ending that as a complete phrase with a period. This makes it so the next dialogue phrase begins with a capital letter. If they are related phrases, they stay in the same line.

Also consider this (expanding on your example):

"It's no use," said Fred. "Go on without me. I can't keep up."

The pattern stays the same even if there is additional dialogue.

  • It's fine to split a sentence with "said Fred", but it does need to be grammatically a single sentence that doesn't require a semicolon or full stop; in this case it's questionable.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Oct 5, 2023 at 14:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.