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A quick question on inverted commas

Discussion in 'Primary' started by Itsme22, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Itsme22

    Itsme22 New commenter

    Hi I am marking a piece of writing assessment and I'm getting myself confused. A child has written Sally says, "I think....." Should they have started a new line for Sally? I was also wondering whether someone could explain what 'Using the passive voice for variety and to shift focus' means please? Thank you.
  2. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Only a new line for a change of speaker. The child is fine to carry on with Sally's speech witrhout starting a new line.
    Passive voice is the opposite of active and changes focus from subject to object.
    Harry kicked the ball - active
    The ball was kicked by Harry - passive
  3. Itsme22

    Itsme22 New commenter

    Okay. Thanks a lot. That has helped. If she had written "I think..." said Sally. rather than Sally said, "I think..." Would she then have had to start a new line?
  4. No, because it is still Sally talking. Only start on a new line when a new character talks.
  5. Itsme22

    Itsme22 New commenter

    Okay thank you. So when she then goes on to some narration and then writes Fiona says, "Your brain..." Does she start a new line at Fiona? Sorry I'm getting myself all confused.
  6. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    If it is a natural paragraph break then start a new line. Actually, we're starting a new paragraph; new line is often how it's taught to younger children.
    If it is in the same paragraph as Sally's speech then it also needs to be a new paragraph. If it is a separate paragraph, then no new paragraph needed, unless it would be a natural paragraph break anyway.
  7. Your best bet is to find some examples in a novel. I looked in the novel I have on the go and found that speech is written in a new paragraph for each character, including the first instance, and including the 'X said' bit. One exception I found was when a character was talking to himself. In this case the speech was integral to the paragraph. And another time was when the character was reflecting on the actions she was performing in the paragraph, 'Almaz walked around it three times. "To ward off the evil eye," she explained.' I guess the reason for this difference is because dialogue is in paragraphs and perhaps short bits of monologue don't always need that distance from the general flow.

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