Direct Speech
"Bull's eye!" he cried.

Direct Speech

When you state the speaker's exact words or if you write a dialogue, you have to use direct speech. In writing, direct speech is shown by enclosing the spoken words in inverted commas: " ... ". Note: In British English, you normally use single inverted commas (' ... '); however, double inverted commas are acceptable (" ... "). Whatever you do, DON'T mix them - be consistent. Double inverted commas (" ... ") have been used in these quizzes. Here are some simple rules to help you:

  • Rule 1 - Direct speech must be enclosed in inverted commas, e.g. He said, "It's hot in here."
  • Rule 2 - Start a new paragraph whenever you change speakers in a dialogue.
  • Rule 3 - Enclose a comma, full stop, question mark, or exclamation mark at the end of the direct speech INSIDE the closing inverted comma(s), e.g. "Do I know you?" he asked.
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  • Rule 4 - Place a comma BEFORE the first inverted comma(s) to introduce the direct speech if the direct speech comes after a named speaker, e.g. She said, "I like strawberries."
  • Rule 5 - If the direct speech is split up by a named speaker: put a comma, question mark or exclamation mark to end the first part and a full stop or another comma before the inverted comma(s) of the second part, e.g. "You’re very knowledgeable," he said. "It's a pleasure to listen to you." "Now I come to think of it," he said, "I didn’t see him yesterday."
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  1. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    Peter said "I have been to Wales twice this year."
    It should be: Peter said, "I have been to Wales twice this year."
  2. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    "What's the capital of Greece"? he asked.
    It should be: "What's the capital of Greece?" he asked.
  3. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    "Have you ever been to China?" he asked. "No, I haven't," I replied.
    It should be:

    "Have you ever been to China?" he asked.

    "No, I haven't," I replied.
  4. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    I can't come tomorrow, said Jack.
    It should be: "I can't come tomorrow," said Jack.
  5. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    "If I had known that" she said "I would have helped him."
    It should be: "If I had known that," she said, "I would have helped him."
  6. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    "Yes!" he cried "I've solved it at last."
    It should be: "Yes!" he cried. "I've solved it at last."
  7. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    Have you ever seen Paris Hilton? he asked.
    It should be: "Have you ever seen Paris Hilton?" he asked.
  8. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    Dave said "I love motorcycle racing."
    It should be: Dave said, "I love motorcycle racing."
  9. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    "You’re always complaining" he said "You really are ungrateful, Harry."
    It should be: "You’re always complaining," he said. "You really are ungrateful, Harry."
  10. Which one of the five rules given in the introduction has been broken?
    "Bull's eye"! he cried.
    It should be: "Bull's eye!" he cried.

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