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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24 views

How informal is “ain't”? [duplicate]

Says "ain't" in job interview sounds as immoral as cursing is?
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42 views

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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30 views

Correct response to the assertion “You can be adamant”

There was a segment in a web-series wherein the dialogue was: Male protagonist: You can be adamant! (In an exasperated tone) Female protagonist: I can! (retorts the character) I thought the response ...
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1answer
50 views

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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3answers
287 views

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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1answer
34 views

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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33 views

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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1answer
90 views

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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1answer
67 views

interruption in speech [closed]

How can I insert saying someone's name in a sentence without the sentence being addressed to them. For example, I am talking to myself, "I have to go to the bank and the dry cleaners today, June (...
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2answers
87 views

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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20 views

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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1answer
66 views

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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1answer
36 views

“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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11 views

How to punctuate perceived dialogue - e.g. she gave him a look as if to say

I want to know how to treat dialogue that is only perceived. E.g. She gave him a look as if to say, “be quiet” Obviously this isn’t actual dialogue so should the “be quiet” be in speech marks? Or ...
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33 views

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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16 views

punctuation after speech tags

Do I need a comma after the speech tag? "Tell me about it," he said, as he climbed the stairs. "Come here," Danny repeated, when his wife didn't move. I use them if there's a ...
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24 views

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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15 views

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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1answer
17 views

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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4answers
2k views

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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1answer
34 views

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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116 views

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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1answer
51 views

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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30 views

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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1answer
140 views

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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22 views

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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75 views

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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1answer
52 views

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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48 views

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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1answer
150 views

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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1answer
265 views

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 said. "She said" isn't ...
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1answer
91 views

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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3answers
623 views

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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1answer
1k views

“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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1answer
39 views

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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1answer
282 views

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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15 views

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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28 views

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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0answers
35 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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19 views

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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111 views

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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1answer
98 views

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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4answers
2k views

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. ...
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1answer
81 views

What happens if there’s dialogue in dialogue in dialogue? [closed]

Do you do an apostrophe again, or can you not do it at all? It’s been very confusing for me!
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1answer
77 views

Citing Multiple paragraphs MLA

Had a quick question about how I should cite with multiple paragraphs (MLA). Here is how the text appears in the source (The Great Gatsby): 'An Oxford man!' He was incredulous. 'Like hell he is!...
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2answers
43 views

Help with dialogue tags! [closed]

Should the sentence be: "What is this?" The man demanded. OR "What is this?" The man said demandingly. I was under the impression that you needed to have 'said' in the sentence for it to be proper. ...
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1answer
143 views

Formatting English Translation in Foreign Dialogue

This short paragraph of German dialogue needs to be translated into English within a larger work: “Zurück bleiben! Fenster schliessen!” Stay back! Close the window! shouted the man on the roof. ...
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1answer
64 views

Can action tags be punctuated like dialogue tags? [closed]

I have a habit of using action tags in the same way as dialogue tags. Example: "I don't know," she said. "I think not," he scratched his chin thoughtfully. "This could have ...
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115 views

Why do we structure dialogue/direct speech the way that we do?

I hate how we format dialogue. I believe convention has gotten too heavy and we need to think a little more about logic. That being said, my question, to be more specific, is asking about labels for ...
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1answer
82 views

Should use third person or first person when describing someone's dialogue

Lets say I am describing the interaction between me and a friend (lets say John), to another person (Mike). If the interaction consists of John saying to me 'I don't know the answer, but you do'. How ...