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

-3
votes
1answer
881 views

Common rules for punctuating dialogue in American English [closed]

What are some common rules for punctuating dialogue in American English?
2
votes
3answers
671 views

How do you convey that something is said slowly in written dialogue?

I am writing a dialogue and I want a word to be said slowly so it is clarified. The dialogue goes like this "What's this?" "It's a Bellis perennis." "What?" "Bellis perennis." (I want this to be ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Analysis of following writing pattern

Is there a name for following writing/dialogue pattern? We ride into the future. A future where ... In the world you grew up. A new world with ... It's just a theory. A game theory.
3
votes
1answer
287 views

When not to use a comma before dialogue

I'm struggling with when to omit the comma before dialogue (as well as when to use capitals) in fiction writing. My understanding is that you would omit the comma before/after something like "he says" ...
1
vote
1answer
852 views

Is “conquer fear” the same as “facing fear” in this example

The following dialogue is from the movie Batman Begins: Ra's Al Gul to Bruce Wayne To conquer fear, you must become fear. You must bask in the fear of other men. So when Ra's Al Gul asks Bruce ...
2
votes
3answers
10k views

When to put a comma after an ellipsis in dialogue [closed]

Having read a style guide recently, I was under the impression that you don't add commas after the ellipsis when the ellipsis indications pauses or thoughts trailing off, followed by "he says" or the ...
3
votes
2answers
618 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."
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Comma splices in dialogue

At university, it was drilled into us to avoid comma splices like the plague, but I keep seeing them in all different types of famous, best-selling novels. I read things (all in dialogue, in inverted ...
1
vote
2answers
680 views

Using colons and semi-colons in dialogue

I've often heard writers say they don't like using colons and semi-colons in dialogue specifically and I don't often see colons and semi-colons in dialogue, but sometimes it just seems like it's by ...
-4
votes
3answers
198 views

a word where character reply in single sentence which increase the intensity of the conversation [closed]

Soliloquy and monologue I know of these but I can't seem to remember this word which frustate me …
0
votes
1answer
315 views

How to punctuate words we reference from other sources or that we think or say inwardly [closed]

I've read a few punctuation guides but am still having a very hard time differentiating between when inverted commas should be used over italics for certain words we reference but do not actually say ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

What is the proper punctuation and structure to place around an action that implies dialogue?

What is the proper punctuation and structure to place around an action that implies dialogue, such as the example below? Double quotations does not seem correct, because the dialogue is unspoken. ...
33
votes
7answers
2k views

Can a statement be “hissed” without any sibilants?

Is using hissed as a replacement for said technically acceptable in dialogue without the presence of any sibilants? "You fool!" she hissed. I understand that hissed could be used to indicate a ...
1
vote
0answers
726 views

Can you use a lowercase letter after an apostrophe at the beginning of the sentence? [duplicate]

Let me start by saying that I'm aware you're supposed to capitalize the first letter after an apostrophe at the beginning of the sentence. My question is can I not. I have this inspiring piece of ...
6
votes
3answers
486 views

Do I put a comma or a period after a mid-quote dialog tag?

Okay, so I have this sentence. "He's where?" Suzy demanded "And what happened to your rig? The whole front is bashed in!" As you can see, I did not put in a comma or a period after demanded ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Where does the comma go in dialogue? [closed]

"Whatever," says Peyton. I understand the comma needs to be after "whatever" to indicate that is what Peyton is saying but.. Peyton says, "Whatever." can a period go there because that's all ...
1
vote
2answers
349 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

A Sentence in Lost Series [closed]

I was watching Lost (again) yesterday and someone said: " - Well, then. I guess I won't have to convince you after all." " - I'm not going to kill -spoiler-, Ben. You are." My question is: I was ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

“you” in spoken, quoted dialogue

My partner and I have been having a debate about the proper way of relating dialogue in spoken English. Our problem is as follows: It often happens in conversation that one wishes to relate a ...
11
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
488 views

Who is being referred to in this dialogue from the motion picture “Captain America: The First Avenger?”

There was this scene in the motion picture "Captain America: The First Avenger" where Steve Rogers and Agent Peggy Carter are driving through Brooklyn. The following dialogue ensued: Steve Rogers: ...
0
votes
3answers
7k 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
986 views

Present tense: “saying” vs. “says” [closed]

I am translating an ebook for A1-German learners. Most of it is written in the present tense. I am writing a lot of dialogue. Is it correct to use the present progressive or not? Your help will be ...
0
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1answer
136 views

Dialogue tags with a mute speaker

The rules of punctuation of dialogue tags and interruptions without a dialogue tag are quite different. The two types of interruptions usually can be distinguished by the verb used - if it describes ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

If quoting only an extract of dialogue from a fiction book, do you still need to have quotes within quotes? [closed]

I need to show kids how to write a book review. I am writing a book review as an exemplar to show them how it's done. However, I got stuck when it came to citing extracts of dialogue. My question is ...
0
votes
1answer
750 views

Which one is the correct dialogue punctuation format? [closed]

I am writing my first novel and this the very first confusion I would like to clarify. As I am not a native English speaker, I find it very hard to understand the punctuation scheme in direct speeches....
3
votes
1answer
395 views

simultaneous dialogue [closed]

[[The question has been edited in an attempt to address the reason it was originally put on hold.]] Suppose that several individuals are speaking. There are two conversations occurring at once in the ...
2
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
919 views

Was the BrEng term “coloured” derogatory in the 1970s?

SAM Look... I owe it to myself to say this to you, okay? Leave Tony Crane. Just go far away from him. He's gonna ask you to marry him and he's gonna make you a business partner. EVE Is that ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Is It Correct to Say ‘I Care Not’?

I was watching the film ‘The Devil’s Violinist’ (which takes place a long time ago) when I noticed the following sentence in a dialogue: I need not and I care not. Here, need is used as a modal ...
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votes
2answers
98 views

Capitalization Police: Why all the capitals?

I'm writing an essay where I want to talk about introspection. I've written the following sentence and Microsoft Word is insisting on capitalizing every single 'w' even though this is essentially a ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

Meaning of 'It is to the feminine as the hug of a bear is to the scratch of--well;--anything with claws.'

"A man's sense of humor is a barbarous and a cruel thing, Miss Innes," he admitted. "It is to the feminine as the hug of a bear is to the scratch of--well;--anything with claws. Is that you, ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
335 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 ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Stealing the topic from another person when he or she is going to tell you something

When someone is starting to tell you something from his or her life, some persons are immediately interrupting and starting to talk about the same topic, but from their own perspective instead. ...
3
votes
2answers
327 views

How to punctuate spoken dialog with multiple levels of nested clauses?

I'm trying to do an audio transcription (for fun—I'm a complete amateur at this) and struggling with how to punctuate this part. Could anyone please help? We've designed this around the functions of ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Capitalizing First Letter of Word in Continuing Dialogue

I have a rather tricky question - I'm a writer, about to send my manuscript off to agents and publishers, and have noticed I have a rather strange writing style, particularly when it comes to dialogue....
6
votes
2answers
409 views

Dramatic hijacking of a sentence

A common trope in movies. What's it called? Person A: The President was a brilliant man! A truly one-of-a-kind-- Person B: killer, who used his ruthless abandon to get ahead!
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is the second part of dialogue capitalized or not?

i.e. "It is important," his mother replied, "(a/A)nd we will all have a great time."
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Can time breaks be shown using dialogue breaks

By ending a set of quotation marks and starting a new set, can this show a break in time? E.g. "I need to read the letter before I can comment." "It looks like he's determined to come here." Here, ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

When i can use “Copy that”? [closed]

When i can to use copy that, just to response of "do you copy" ? tanks for your helps
0
votes
3answers
723 views

Children caught by an adult doing something wrong, relaying the blame onto each other

Here's the basic situation: two fairly young children, boy and girl, caught by an adult after doing something really wrong (i.e., for example, breaking some sort of precious vase or something like ...
0
votes
3answers
273 views

Word or phrase for that part of writing that ensures clarity of speaker and place

I was reading a book the other day and, at several points in the story, became very confused as to which character was talking. It would also happen that the characters would suddenly be at new ...
1
vote
3answers
479 views

How to semi-formally address a senior academic? [closed]

What is a proper way to address a person with the title of a Professor in a way which is less formal than "Dear Professor", but still conveys some respect? For example, suppose I am talking to ...
0
votes
1answer
620 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?
1
vote
2answers
764 views

Term for the identification of the person speaking in a dialogue

Consider the following piece of dialogue: Peter: Hello, Mary! How do you do? Mary: Hi, Peter! Fine, and you? What is the term for the part in bold, the specification of who is to speak a ...
90
votes
4answers
213k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Ironic phrase like Russian’s “no, didn’t hear”

Here’s a bit of dialogue which I literally translated from Russian: ― You should get a girlfriend! ― Girlfriend? Didn’t hear. . . . The idea of the answer is to self-ironically point out ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the origin of “uh”, “um”, “erm” and “er”?

This question may be a better fit on linguistics.SE, but it pertains specifically to English fillers. Also, the question may have a more straightforward answer than what I'm expecting. TL;DR: Are ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Term for Indirect Dialogue

There are two different types of dialogue I'm aware of, that for the moment I'll refer to as 'direct' dialogue and 'indirect' dialogue. However, I know these terms aren't the correct ones, and it's ...