Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Elusive Comma (Part 3 of 7)

(This post comes from Susan Titus Osborn.)

Using Commas in Dialogue

Commas and periods always go inside the quotation marks, whether single or double.

* "I want to go with you," he said.

* He said, "I want to go with you."

I constantly see errors regarding this rule in print. CMS says this is the traditional style, and was used well before the first edition of the manual in 1906.

Question marks and exclamation points go inside if they are part of the dialogue and outside if they are part of the entire sentence.

* Why did I keep in my head the words, "I'll never forget you"?

* Before he said good-bye, he asked, "Will I ever forget you?"

Susan Titus Osborn is the director of the Christian Communicator Manuscript Critique Service. She has authored 30 books. You can reach her at susanosb@aol.com, http://www.Christiancommunicator.com/.

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