Questions tagged [dialogue]

Questions about authored conversations between two or more people as found in books, plays, or films. Please use the "conversations" tag for natural spoken conversations

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What does "bleed a rock" mean? [migrated]

Does Principal Camillo say "I'm supposed to bleed a rock with the budget" in McFarland, USA (00:10:08)? What does it mean?
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"a square deal from me and most of the breaks"

I was watching The Maltese Falcon and there's a scene when Dundy, a cop, tells Sam Spade (who Dundy thinks may have murdered someone) the following: Well, you know me, Spade. If you did it, or if you ...
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Is there a term for the aspect of style where an author indicates who is speaking? [duplicate]

In a novel, for example, imagine the following sentence: "I like chowder", Helen said. What I'm looking for is the highlighted part. There are many different ways that particular sentence ...
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Can I end a quote/dialogue with a colon?

If a character is introducing something, say, a PowerPoint presentation, how should I punctuate their speech? Can I use a colon? For example: "We have proof. Just take a look at this:" He ...
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How would dialogue be punctuated and capitalised in the middle of a sentence?

I've seen multiple authors use multiple methods for how they punctuate complex dialogue, sort of mid-sentence quotations. Is there a standardised method or is it exceedingly situational? Below I've ...
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Would You Capitalize a Part of Sentence That is After a Dialogue? [duplicate]

This something that I'm very confused about... You see, here is one example of the sentence: I ran ahead and said, "I don't want that," and crashed against a wall. In this sentence, you ...
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If there is no reporting verb, would you still use comma in these constructions?

Usually, after a reporting verb, there is bound to be a comma, but what if the constructions are as follow: As if waiting for me to say that one sentence, Cornelia followed up with a request, “Welp, ...
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Simple Abbreviation Confusion

You know that a lot of words can be abbreviated like: You know -> y'know About -> 'bout Going to -> gonna and much more To be honest, I found one interesting abbreviation: Of course ->...
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Sorkin's "Your imagination, like a child, will explode with unrestrained possibilities for adventure." Works so well despite feeling problematic; why? [closed]

I'm going to somewhat but not completely premise my question on the following: the line is likely written or edited by Aaron Sorkin rather than Kevin Falls (Galileo West Wing Season 2 Episode 9 ...
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Is reverberate a dialogue tag? [closed]

Just like the title say and here are the examples: “Took you long enough.” Without warning, her voice reverberated from my side. “Ngh! Phew… Oh no!” A voice reverberated from the crash site and ...
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"brothers in her bag"

in the film The Maltese Falcon (1941) the private detective Miles said "They have brothers in her bag." context: the client, beautiful women Wonderly gave him two Dollar bill and after she ...
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1 answer
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Dialogue with multiple sentences before the “he said”

Usually when writing dialogue, you write it as such: “I am so glad it’s raining,” said John. However, is it acceptable standard to write MULTIPLE sentences before the said tag? As in: “How are you? ...
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What is the term for the name tags before dialogue in a play?

I remember my professor from years ago providing a specific technical term for the abbreviated name tags in front of dialogue in a play, e.g. So: The Athenians don't just call it a suit, Euthyphro, ...
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How to punctuate overheard dialogue with a noise interrupting it?

How would you punctuate dialogue when it's overheard by others (who only hear it) and when there is a noise that interrupts it? (same as action?) Been flailing about with this but does this look right?...
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A word, gesture or expression for a confident "shrug"

I am trying to look for a word, gesture or expression that represents a state of confident not knowing. So far I am using a shrug for this but when used often it starts to come off as very apathetic ...
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What dialogue tag can be used to describe being confused? [closed]

For example; My brother was standing in front of my room. “Are you ok with this?” He huffs. “What do you mean?” [A term that would describe that she is confused]
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Is 'lamented' a dialogue tag? [closed]

In these sentences, "I miss having breakfast every day," he lamented. "I miss having breakfast every day." He lamented. is the first correct? I would say lamented is a dialogue ...
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Is it alright to use logical punctuation?

Since I have been writing, I have been using what I thought was just the British style of punctuation. However, I realised that it is actually called 'logical punctuation'. I have used this style of ...
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Grammatical correctness of continuing sentences off dialogue tags

The following is a quote from Philip Pullman's 'La Belle Sauvage': "It's a present for her," said Malcolm, and thrust it in among Lyra's blankets. Now, to me, this sentence doesn't really ...
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Dialogue usage uncertainty

Sorry for the vague title! I'm writing a short story and I'm wondering if the below sentence is correct. Should a new paragraph be started when she hears the shout, since it's technically dialogue? Or ...
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Meaning of this piece of dialogue in The Call of the Wild?

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Call of the Wild by Jack London: Yet his time came, in the end, in the form of a little weazened man who spat broken English and many strange and uncouth ...
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"Brick Mansions" Movie Dialog [closed]

In the script of the movie, it is written "your backing" but I cannot hear that! I hear this: "your back". What is that in fact? The passage of dialog: "Now, with your ...
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English text book - phrase to be used in an example dialogue

I'm in the middle of writing a dialogue for an English text book - a short excerpt from the dialogue is as follows: Coach: Your form is not bad, but you have to work on your strength. Athlete: ...
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Singleton letters in direct speech

I am writing a scene where one of the characters screams, "H" and "O-H." I want to know the best to indicate that to the reader, that the distinct letters are being pronounced, not ...
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Capitalization after an internal dialogue prefix tag [duplicate]

Do you capitalize the sentence after an internal dialogue (a.k.a. thought bubble) that uses a prefix tag? That is, in an example like: Will thought, My father must not like me. Or do you do: Will ...
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Starting a sentence with a past verb?

I am a spanish speaker, and the last night I watched the movie "The Silencing". There, some characters used expressions such as: "Realized I did not like to let animals suffer" In ...
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4 answers
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What type of English is used in the dialogue of the Lord of the Rings movies? [closed]

In the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Elrond speaks to his daughter: "If Aragorn survives this war, you will still be parted. If Sauron is defeated and Aragorn made king and all ...
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In direct speech, should there be a comma after the clause but before 'as'?

I have had a peep at similar posts but couldn't find what I was looking for, so apologies if I am repeating a question. Which is correct? "Wow!" gasped Sarah as she spotted the sparkling ...
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Should you use quotation marks when transcribing an interview in which the speakers are identified before each quote?

I apologize if the title is unclear, as I couldn't find a great way to phrase this. What I'm asking is, which of the following would be correct? Interviewer: Good morning, thank you for joining me. ...
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Should you start a new paragraph for a new speaker if both speakers are contained in the same quoted passage?

This manuscript quotes a passage from the Bible that has more than one speaker: Job 1:6–7 says: One day, when the angels had gathered around the Lord, and Satan was there with them, the Lord asked,...
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How should a numbered list be punctuated within dialogue?

In a story, a character reads aloud a numbered list. What should the punctuation be? I was thinking of treating it like a recitation of a poem or song - indented and italicized. There are 26 items in ...
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Do you always need commas after dialogue tags and detailed locations?

I have a couple of questions about commas. If you quote a short sentence, can you omit the comma after the dialogue tag as a matter of style? For instance: Whenever I come home, I always say "...
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Use of 'period' at the end of sentence

I have observed this in some quotes or dialogues that people say 'period.' at the end of their sentence/quote. I wanted to ask why and when is it used
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Interrupted quotation in a paragraph

Please help me with the correct usage of capitalisation in an interrupted quotation. For example: Alice yelled, "Get out of here." In the above sentence, the first word under the quotes is ...
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Using "this" or "that" in a sentence

I wondered which term for the below paragraph is correct grammar and whether I should use "this" or "that". Peter kept wondering about everything he had overheard. For the time being, he wanted to ...
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What would you call parts of dialogue?

As in 'The cat jumped over the dog,' Jack said What would you call the "Jack said" part?
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Positioning of comma when assumptions are added to other people's information, as in "I assume" [duplicate]

In a passage of my book, a character tells another that he's "dead". Now, this scene is quite intense, propping up what seems like an imminent fight. The character being threatened has picked up on ...
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1 answer
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Are dialogue tags after a question capitalized?

When writing dialogue and dialogue tags, I have always asked myself if the tag is a complete sentence. If so, I use a comma and lower case such as: She said, "Bob." "Bob," she ...
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What is a word to describe when someone is upset that someone else thinks little of themself?

I'm writing a story and the characters have just got to their love confession and I'm trying to think of a specific word to capture their feeling, but I can't remember it. Character A: "They're not ...
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Punctuating dialogue interrupted by speaker?

When a speaker briefly interrupts their own dialogue, then resumes in the same paragraph, how do you punctuate the interruption? I know that, when it doesn't halt speech (i.e. dashes outside quotes), ...
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"Say" and "said" as transitive and intransitive verbs

I have an interesting question. Is "say" a transitive verb in the case of direct/reported speech? I understand that it can be a transitive verb in cases like "She said the phrase." or "She says the ...
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What is the name of the literary technique/device used where the reader is only shown one side of a dialogue?

What is the literary device used when there is a dialogue but only one speaker's side is heard/shown to the reader/audience. And how can I write this in a way that it is clear that although this ...
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What is the Implied Meaning Behind when someone answers a Question with "Because."

I was watching Season 3 of "The West Wing"(# the Greatest show on TV). Episode 9: Bartlet for America. The premise is that Leo McGarry, the White House Chief-Of-Staff is And he discusses his ...
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Is this a dialogue tag?

Lately, I've been pondering about this question. First of all, we already know that dialogue tags consist of a noun or a pronoun followed by a verb like "said," and "ask." "Like this one," I ...
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Can this be considered a dialogue tag?

Lately, I've been pondering about this question. First of all, we already know that dialogue tags consist of a noun or a pronoun followed by a verb like "said," and "ask." "Like this one," I ...
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58 views

Is it grammatically correct to omit a comma after dialogue ending in an ellipsis? [duplicate]

I know that Grammarly isn't always correct but before tonight, I didn't know punctuation directly after an ellipsis was grammatically correct, even in special circumstances such as dialogue. Unless ...
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Commas and conversational clauses

I'm editing an article, and a piece of dialogue is giving me some trouble. You were practically a co-owner you’d been there so long. Is this written correctly, or would a comma break up those two ...
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Should I capitalise short phrases of dialogue in the middle of a sentence?

He chanted "activate" to activate his powers. or He chanted "Activate" to activate his powers. This question is specifically for short phrases, not entire sentences.
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How do I clarify to readers that the bolded dialogue question is a rhetorical question?

Two characters, Scythe Master and Claudia, are having a conversation in this book I'm translating. The first speaker is Scythe. (Bolded part is what I'm 87% sure is a rhetorical question, based on ...
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What does it mean by the phrase "not my story to tell"?

I recently heard the phrase in the season 3 of Blindspot series. One of the characters used this phrase: Well, if I knew it, I'd swear that I'd tell you, but it's not my story to tell, so, sorry. ...