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View Full Version : Grammar Question (oh boy, here we go again...)



Becky Writes
08-05-2006, 07:48 PM
When writing dialogue, can I use grammatically incorrect words? I'm thinking that I can because people don't always talk correctly, but is there a rule?

This is a sample sentence from my WIP:

Casey cocked her head to the side. “You guys aren't shy at all, are you? Whatever's on your mind you just throw it right on out there.”
Obviously, "whatever's" is a contraction, but not "correct." I have said the sentence out loud several times, and I say "whatever's" as opposed to "whatever is."

So? Yes? No?

Soccer Mom
08-05-2006, 07:53 PM
Yup. In dialogue, write the way the character would actually speak. FYI-there is a grammar thread with some real wizards (Sorry. Not those kinds.) who can help sort out your grammar issues. Plus it is an interesting read.

scribbler1382
08-05-2006, 07:53 PM
Yes. In fact, you should. Makes the dialogue sound more real. Don't go for full reality of course, because most people speak in fragments and it would drive the reader nuts. Same goes for dialect/accents. A little goes a long way.

DeborahM
08-05-2006, 07:54 PM
My vote is: Even though it is incorrect - write it as it is said in real life. This adds depth to your characters making them come alive showing their own personalities or quirks which makes the dialogue more believable. :D

Becky Writes
08-05-2006, 08:07 PM
Wow, y'all are quick!

Thanks!

DeborahM
08-05-2006, 08:16 PM
Nothing else better to do at this given time. Besides, this place gives me lots of laughs!

Jamesaritchie
08-05-2006, 08:31 PM
When writing dialogue, can I use grammatically incorrect words? I'm thinking that I can because people don't always talk correctly, but is there a rule?

This is a sample sentence from my WIP:

Casey cocked her head to the side. “You guys aren't shy at all, are you? Whatever's on your mind you just throw it right on out there.”
Obviously, "whatever's" is a contraction, but not "correct." I have said the sentence out loud several times, and I say "whatever's" as opposed to "whatever is."

So? Yes? No?

"Whatever's on your mind" may not be formal, but there's nothing grammatically incorrect about it. It's a perfectly valid and grammatical contraction.

Punctuation is another story.

But, yes, dialogue should always reflect the way real people talk.

reph
08-05-2006, 09:01 PM
Punctuation is another story.Right. Becky, you need a comma after "mind."

Becky Writes
08-05-2006, 09:12 PM
Yes, I see that now.

I didn't know this Grammar forum was here. That's good, because I haven't had a grammar lesson since eighth grade.