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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13
votes
5answers
6k views

Did they say “hand job” in the 1800s?

Did they say "hand job" in the 1800s? I was watching an episode of Deadwood, and they just said it. For example, from episode 6 "Plague": (Al enters the back room, Dolly is scrunched up on the ...
0
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0answers
16 views

How to indicate in-character dialogue vs. out-of-character dialogue?

Let's say you're writing about two people who are casually rehearsing a screenplay. During the conversation, some spoken dialogue is in-character reading from the screenplay, some spoken dialogue is ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

Can you end a multi-sentence quotation with a comma?

This is correct: "Rats," he said. But this looks wrong to me: "I left the oven on. Rats," he said. I can't find any rules about whether you can end a quotation with a comma when there are periods ...
92
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4answers
221k views

Why does the multi-paragraph quotation rule exist?

The answer to this question clearly explains the standard rule that when you have multiple quoted paragraphs, each new paragraph starts with an opening quotation mark, but only the final quoted ...
1
vote
0answers
41 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 ...
0
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1answer
60 views

Is it grammatical to have a continued description?

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?
1
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0answers
14 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 ...
1
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0answers
23 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 ...
-2
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3answers
8k views

Asgard is not a place, it's a people

In the movie Thor Ragnarok the sentence Asgard is not a place, it's a people. is used by multiple characters multiple times but shouldn't it be " Asgard is not a place, it's the people" Am I ...
0
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0answers
18 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 ...
1
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0answers
15 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 ...
0
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0answers
49 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.
2
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1answer
64 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
319 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

About using “said” in dialogue

I want to know if there are any rules regarding using said before or after a name. For example, which of the following is correct? "I am going to the bank," said John. "I am going to the ...
1
vote
1answer
48 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!...
2
votes
2answers
29 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. ...
0
votes
1answer
60 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
45 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 gone better," ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Why do some people say “My name is Doctor / Dr. X” instead of “I'm Doctor / Dr. X”?

I'm Portuguese and I live in Portugal. Here it's (still) common to see some people using their academic/professional title in introductions: "Hi, I'm Doctor / Dr. / Eng. X". However, when watching ...
2
votes
0answers
89 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

What does “two-meal” mean in “There's nothing that could get him away from that two-meal town.”?

It's a quote from the movie "The Godfather II", Tom and Frankie's scene: Frankie: Did my brother go back? Tom: Yeah, don't worry. Frankie: He's ten time tougher than me-- my brother. He's ...
0
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1answer
46 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

How should I format whispered dialog?

How do would you write out character whispering in a narrative story, would you use italics, parantheses, maybe dependent on variety of styles?
1
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1answer
124 views

Can you add a colon before quotations instead of a comma? [duplicate]

Is it possible to add a colon instead of a comma before quotations? Like this: Person A said: "Blah Blah Blah." Not as in theatrical performance, but as used in an story.
1
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2answers
392 views

Dialogue from the motion picture “ Captain America - The First Avenger”.What is she implying in this sentence?

This is a dialogue from the motion picture " Captain America - The First Avenger": Steve Rogers: Well, what about you and Stark? How do I know you two haven't been...fonduing? [she turns to ...
3
votes
3answers
121 views

Quotation marks and types of dialogue

I'm editing the autobiography of a German-American woman who grew up during Hitler's reign. There are several instances where she uses quotation marks in a way that I'm not sure is correct. 1. Life ...
7
votes
4answers
722 views

What does an ellipsis followed by an exclamation mean?

I'm confused about how to use "...!" in writing. Currently, I'm writing a fiction story with a character who has been critically injured. I got this question while typing out this: "I won't die yet....
1
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0answers
127 views

Is it correct to capitalize a pronoun's first letter after a punctuation mark in a dialogue?

"I wonder," I said to myself, "if there's a punctuation mark at the end of a dialogue, should I capitalize a pronoun's first letter?" "I don't know," someone in my mind said, "should we?" "Should we?...
1
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0answers
35 views

Relationship between topics and speech acts/dialogue acts in a sentence

I am still ambiguous about the relationship between topics and speech acts/dialogue acts in a sentence. Are the topics selected as conditional on speech acts/dialogue acts (or vice versa) in a ...
0
votes
3answers
8k views

“I'm always going by bike” vs. “I always go by bike”

Premise I hate translation work. On the other hand, proofreading somebody's English written work is fine as long as I can speak to that person face-to-face. Nuances, ambiguities, false friends etc. ...
1
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3answers
5k views

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue?

How do you show someone is crying in dialogue? (as in, is there an onomatopoeia that can show crying well? I ask because "(insert dialogue)..sniffle..(insert dialogue)..snifle..", does show that the ...
2
votes
2answers
936 views

Help me make sense of this dialogue

Algernon. Oh! . . . by the way, Lane, I see from your book that on Thursday night, when Lord Shoreman and Mr. Worthing were dining with me, eight bottles of champagne are entered as having been ...
3
votes
1answer
347 views

Dialogue responding to Narration

What is it called, or how would you describe, when a character utters a line of dialogue in response to information contained within the preceding narrative? Example: At sunrise Thelma peered ...
3
votes
2answers
647 views

Addressing an unmarried woman, 1930s

How should a character address an unmarried woman in conversation in the 1930s: would they use Mrs., Miss, or Ms? Example: "Good evening, Ms. Smith."
1
vote
4answers
409 views

What's a verb that means “to say something in a singing way”

Imagine a dentist telling a small child to "open wide." He might "sing" it rather than say it, maybe by drawing out "wide" into two syllables, the first having a higher pitch than the second. You ...
0
votes
1answer
211 views

Position of comma relative to quotation marks: “You're wrong”,… vs. “You're wrong,” [duplicate]

Below, I have written two sentences. Can you comment on the positioning of the first comma in each case. Are both sentences correct? "You're wrong", Eddie replied. "You're wrong," Eddie replied, "...
2
votes
1answer
879 views

What do the parentheses inside quotation marks mean in this Dickens quote?

Miss Havisham had seen him as soon as I, and was (like everybody else) afraid of him. She made a strong attempt to compose herself, and stammered that he was as punctual as ever. "As punctual as ...
1
vote
1answer
994 views

How do you paragraph dialogue when multiple characters are acting?

So if I'm correct, you start a new paragraph in dialogue every time a new character is the one focused on. So if character A says something and then does an action that's all one paragraph, but if ...
0
votes
1answer
654 views

Dialogue: “had” or “have”

She: I had an awesome time yesterday. He: Haha. I'm glad you have! Did I use the wrong word? Is it suppose to be had?
0
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0answers
34 views

How to punctuate interrupted dialogue [duplicate]

What is the best way to punctuate interrupted dialogue? I have seen it done like this, but I am not sure if it is correct. "In my opinion the best w--" "Nobody is interested in your opinion," Fred ...
1
vote
1answer
609 views

Punctuation: Dialogue that trails off and picks up again

How would you correctly punctuate dialogue that trails off, but then picks up again? A: "Something about the way she smells ..." The man breathed in deep, a smile spreading across his face. "... ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Reasking in answer to “How are you?”

sorry for probably similar questions were already asked but I can't find exactly this: If I'm greeted by "How are you?", should I answer with "Fine, thanks, and you" as school books usually suggest? ...
0
votes
1answer
312 views

How should punctuation be used in dialogues that end in “is all he/she/I said”?

In dialogues that are like the following ones, should the comma follow the dialogues like it does in dialogues that end with "she/he/I said"? "I'm coming home," she said. (Comma follows dialogue.) ...
9
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2answers
2k views

The meaning of a short excerpt of dialog from the “La-La Land” movie [closed]

I came across the following dialog while watching La-La Land in English with subtitles: Mia: How’d you get on the lot? Seb: I basically just hauled ass past the guard gates. I think I have 20 ...
-1
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1answer
502 views

suggestions on word-choice for “the smell of roses” [closed]

Can someone suggest another way to say "the smell of roses in the air", please.Is "the aroma of roses" mean the same?
1
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2answers
1k views

What does being back to something mean?

What does the phrase "Now it's back to all the brightness, and everything I hate" mean? (Riddicks s dialogue in The Chronicles of Riddicks movie) https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Syntactic structure of a ''contracted'' question [closed]

I'm a teacher and I'm preparing the simple dialogues for my students. Here's one of them: Hi! Hello! How are things? Could be better. You? Pretty good. May I shorten the response ...
15
votes
1answer
33k views

How should I use quotation marks in sections of multiline dialogue?

If I want to introduce a “pause” between lines of dialogue from the same person by inserting a spacing line, how should I use the quotation marks correctly to indicate continued dialogue? I really don’...
2
votes
1answer
22k views

How is “but of course” different to just “of course”?

I've seen in writing and on screen the phrase "but of course" used as a stand alone sentence. If one were to substitute just "of course" would the meaning change?