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mesh138
02-24-2006, 02:08 PM
This seems like a topic I've heard on here before, so forgive me if this has been touched on a million times already. Just curious about quotations in dialogue. I looked it up in Elements of Style, but it didn't answer my question- Do you use a period or comma? For example.

"I wanted to," said Jim, "but there wasn't time."

or

"I wanted to," said Jim. "But there wasn't time."

Andrew Jameson
02-24-2006, 04:34 PM
If the words without the interior tag are a single complete sentence, use commas to keep it a single sentence. Thus:

"I wanted to, but there wasn't time."
becomes
"I wanted to," said Jim, "but there wasn't time."

If the words without the interior tag form two sentences, use a period to keep them two sentences. Thus:

"I wanted to. I didn't have enough time."
becomes
"I wanted to," said Jim. "I didn't have enough time."

Julie Worth
02-24-2006, 04:39 PM
It depends on how you want him saying this. If there’s a full stop, use a period, if not, use the comma.

Jamesaritchie
02-24-2006, 06:48 PM
This seems like a topic I've heard on here before, so forgive me if this has been touched on a million times already. Just curious about quotations in dialogue. I looked it up in Elements of Style, but it didn't answer my question- Do you use a period or comma? For example.

"I wanted to," said Jim, "but there wasn't time."

or

"I wanted to," said Jim. "But there wasn't time."

It's really pretty simple. If the said Jim separates two sentences, use a period. If it breaks a single sentence into two parts, use a comma.

TemlynWriting
02-24-2006, 07:15 PM
What all the others said. I just wanted to add that we have a grammar & punctuation forum (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=111) for questions and discussions like this, if you should want to venture over there. I'll see about moving this thread, since it's a valid punctuation question. :)

aka eraser
02-24-2006, 07:41 PM
I'll trundle it over there Julia.

mesh138
02-25-2006, 03:32 AM
Thanks for your comments. Sorry for posting in the wrong spot.