Dialogue Tags (Said, Asked, Replied)
"How many questions did you get right?" asked the teacher.

Dialogue Tags (Said, Asked, Replied)

This dialogue tags quiz helps KS1 children identify the difference between the words ‘said’, ‘asked’ and ‘replied’. These skills will aid their English and literacy comprehension abilities as outlined in the National Curriculum. When reading dialogue, various different tags are used and children are encouraged to use tags other than ‘said’ in their dialogue writing.

When somebody in a story speaks, the writer tells us by using speech marks and writes ‘said’, ‘asked’ or ‘replied’. These verbs are then followed by a noun or proper noun – explaining who is speaking.

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  1. "Can I have some?" How should this sentence end?
    She is asking a question and that is why 'asked' is the best way to tag the dialogue.
  2. "Yes you can water the garden." How should this sentence end?
    The sentence sounds like he is replying, because he is saying 'yes'.
  3. Which of these words is not a verb for speaking?
    Said, asked and replied are all ways of saying that somebody has spoken - they are also verbs, which means they are doing words.
  4. "I'm not sure," he replied. Why have we used the word 'replied'?
    If you use the word replied, it means they are answering or adding to something somebody has already said. This means there will be some speech beforehand or an assumption that somebody has spoken before this comment.
  5. Which sentence is perfect?
    You can write a dialogue tag even if you don't know the name of the person speaking, instead of using a proper noun, you can just write the noun - like lady.
  6. Which sentence is perfect?
    We could use the word 'said' here but it is clear she has replied to a question and so, 'replied' makes more sense.
  7. "Can I help you?" asked Debbie. Why have we used the word 'asked'?
    If you say somebody asked something, then they are asking a question and so, a question mark will need to be written.
  8. Which sentence is perfect?
    When adding a dialogue tag, we must always say who is speaking.
  9. When using the phrase 'asked', what type of punctuation must be used within the speech?
    The question mark will always occur within the speech marks.
  10. Which of these would the 'said' tag match?
    If somebody is shouting, and using an exclamation mark, we wouldn't say 'said', we would use words like 'shouted' or 'screamed'.

Author: Finola Waller

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