Friday, May 09, 2008


David H. asks:

When using quotes in a story, when do you use "she said" or "she asked." Also, what is the proper punctuation? Here are my examples. Is it:

"Where are you going?" she asked.

"Where are you going," she asked.

"Where are you going," she said.

"Where are you going?" she said.

A question mark is indicative of a question, obviously, and standard form is to follow a quotation with "asked." (Or "questioned" or "wondered" or any other suitable synonym.) Using a comma after a question is completely in error, although I do adore commas. And to end a sentence with "she said" when what she said was a question just makes my head hurt.

Thanks for the question.


Anonymous David said...

Nice. That's pretty much what I thought.
This series of books is full of lines like this ...

"But who turned you into a mouse?" said Annie.

I questioned it at first and now I know the truth!!!

Thanks TOSC!!

3:18 AM  
Blogger katrina said...

I've never done this, and this seems like a rudimentary thing to cover..but what's up with someone "having their cake" and "eating it too"'s just way too complicated to understand. Yes I "have" cake, and yes I would like to treat myself to its deliciousness by "eating" it. I know it's a way of calling someone selfish, yet how did THAT come to life as a phrase in the english language? confusing sometimes with arbitrary sayings that in all actuality don't make sense.

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