So I come up with a question in narration, and here's a few example:

I know from her smile that she was saying "you look like an idiot" to me.

She was more likely than not dishing me out with “do this fool even know how to make a golem?” sarcasm.

At that moment, I heard someone shouting “Kill! Kill! Kill!” and saw that a crazy person running rampant on the street and stabbing the pedestrians.

Two of the nearby men complied and quickly grabbed the insane man down screaming “Let go of me!” over and over.

I don't know what this thing is called, but I'm confused in whether capitalizing them or not. So if you can help, I will be the most grateful.

I know for a fact that a normal construction like this, He raised his eyebrows, saying, "Hey, that hat is mine." Is capitalized.


1 Answer 1


The quoted words are direct speech. The speaker's words should always begin with a capital letter, whatever their position in the sentence, so in your first example the woman's implied words should read "You look like an idiot".

  • Even if she's not speaking the word? I mean, she was only smiling that implies that meaning (You look like an idiot) to the the guy. Nov 25, 2021 at 14:40
  • 2
    That's why I referred to her implied words. Thoughts or imagined utterances are treated just the same as spoken words as regards punctuation. Nov 25, 2021 at 14:43
  • I see, then what about the one where he is shouting "Kill! Kill! Kill!"? It's not a complete sentence, right? But there are three of them repeated. This is my last question. Nov 26, 2021 at 1:29
  • A single word can be a sentence, for example "Yes." "What?" or a verb used as a command, as it is here. Nov 26, 2021 at 9:49

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