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View Full Version : He said, he asked... ?



DTKelly
10-23-2006, 10:54 PM
Okay, I feel dumb for asking but which is "more" correct? Or rather, which are acceptable?


1. "What time is it," he asked.

2. "What time is it?" he asked.

3. "What time is it," he said.

4. "What time is it?" he said.

alleycat
10-23-2006, 11:01 PM
No. 2. Or just leave off the tag if it's otherwise clear who's speaking.

Julie Worth
10-23-2006, 11:08 PM
Number 2 or 4, or leave off the tag. It depends on the context. Maybe you just had an asked, and don't want another one.

Bufty
10-24-2006, 12:27 AM
In no context, 'he said' 'he asked' implies the reader already knows who is speaking - no?

For that question, I'd use a short prior action tag with a name preferably, or no tag at all if it's clear who is speaking.

Julie Worth
10-24-2006, 12:54 AM
In no context, 'he said' 'he asked' implies the reader already knows who is speaking - no?

Not if there is a he and a she.

Bufty
10-24-2006, 01:13 AM
Agreed, but I think you know what I meant.

DTKelly
10-24-2006, 03:12 PM
Thanks for the input!

Jamesaritchie
10-24-2006, 07:58 PM
I hate it when a question mark is followed by the words "he asked." Talk about redundant. The question mark literally means "he asked." So why write "he asked, he asked," which is exactly what you're doing when you follow a question mark with these words?

There's always a better, smoother way of handling it. And almost always a way of elimination the tag altogether in this situation, no matter who happens to be speaking, or what their gender might be.

scottVee
10-27-2006, 07:09 AM
I agree with the question mark signifying "he asked". However, if you open a scene with a man and a woman in a room, then say, "What time is it?", it's not clear who said it. If it matters, specify. If not, that's okay.

If the speaker is disconnected or in a stupor, he could state a question instead of asking it. And the rule that "every alternative other than 'said' or 'asked' is bad" is lame. Sure, all those synonyms get overused. But sometimes they do give insight into how we should hear the voice in our heads, where "said" is just sterile. When targeting the audio/video media, you'd be amazed at how many different ways each line can be delivered, so provide some cues to the poor actors.

aghast
10-27-2006, 12:16 PM
use he asked the same reason why we use we said - by the same logic why even say he said because obviously hes saying something - its just a tag

Maryn
10-28-2006, 06:24 PM
I agree with Jamesaritchie on this one. The question mark tells us the speaker asked. If it's not clear who spoke, an action or reaction line can make it so without introducing redundancy.

Maryn, who catches herself doing this all the time

Bufty
10-28-2006, 07:12 PM
No it's not 'just a tag'. To toss tags about thinking they're 'just tags' is dumb - tags serve specific purposes and should be properly used.

I agree with James and Maryn.


use he asked the same reason why we use we said - by the same logic why even say he said because obviously hes saying something - its just a tag