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Grammar 70 - Dialogue Completion
We listen to dialogues when we watch our favourite films.

Grammar 70 - Dialogue Completion

Most of us will have come across dialogues in our everyday life. We converse with our family members, with our friends in school and with friends in our localities. We also listen to dialogues when we watch a favourite film or go to see a play. This High English quiz is all about the completion of dialogue, whether in a film or a play, where tagging is required, or in everyday life.

One of the most talked about dialogues in Hindi films is the line from the iconic film ‘Sholay’, in which the villain asks one of his henchmen ‘Kitne aadmi the.’ This piece of dialogue has become very popular and has been used in many advertisements for 40 years. Dialogues are integral parts of any story, film or drama. We can recall dialogues in movies and in a play. More importantly, we practise dialogues in our daily lives. Often, when we listen to someone speak, we try to predict the next part of the dialogue after listening to the first few words uttered by someone, and that's what you'll be doing in this quiz.

Dialogues in real life and in written form are different from one another, simply because in real life, dialogues take place between two persons not only in words but also with non-verbal cues, which cannot be replicated easily in written dialogues. While punctuation, grammar and vocabulary are informal in real life dialogues, they become formal in written dialogues. Additionally, written dialogues should follow established conventions such as proper formatting and punctuations. Another aspect of dialogues is tagging. Tagging is vital to identify who is saying what. For instance, ‘who are you?’ is a perfect dialogue, but the reader does not know who speaks these words. Thus, tagging becomes important as can be seen from the sentence ‘who are you,’ asked the headmaster.

Choosing dialogues is important and they should match the situation. We should use a variety of tags to ensure monotony is broken. Some of the more commonly used tags are ‘said, asked, cried, pleaded, shouted, answered, whispered, rued, warned, admitted' and 'explained.’ One of the best ways to learn about dialogue is to do dialogue completion exercises. The quiz that follows does just that.


Passage for Dialogue Completion.

Manager:   ______________(1) passing your desk just now?
Secretary: Yes, he left for a meeting in the head office. Tell me, _______________(2) that makes you so glum?
Manager:   _____________________________________(3) and I need the MD to speak to the customer.
Secretary: ______________(4), as soon as he returns, I will ensure he will see you.
1.
In the conversation between the Secretary and the Manager complete the dialogue designated by (1). Choose from the following options.
Did you see the MD
Did the MD
Will you see the MD
Will the MD be
When we read the entire dialogue, we notice that it is happening in the present. Thus, option 1 is the correct answer. Option 2 is grammatically wrong. Options 3 and 4 refer to the future and are inconsistent with the context of the dialogue
2.
In the conversation between the Secretary and the Manager, complete the dialogue designated by (2). Choose from the following options.
What happens
What has happening
How is this
What has happened
Judging from the entire dialogue we can surmise that something has happened for the Manager to seek the MD's assistance. With reference to the context, option 4 is correct. The other options are grammatically incorrect
3.
In the conversation between the Secretary and the Manager, complete the dialogue designated by (3). Choose from the following options.
I have no problem with privileged customer
I have a problem with a privileged customer
I having problem with privileged customer
I full problem with privileged customer
Judging from the entire dialogue we can surmise that there is a problem with a privileged customer and hence the dialogue 'I have a problem with a privileged customer.' Obviously, option 1 is incorrect because there is a problem. The other options are grammatically incorrect
4.
In the conversation between the Secretary and the Manager, complete the dialogue designated by (4). Choose from the following options.
Relax, don't worrying
Relaxing, don't worry
Relax, don't worry
Relaxing, stop worrying
From the context of the dialogues, the Secretary is trying to calm the manager and hence her dialogue 'Relax, don't worry.' The other options are grammatically incorrect
5.
'"You must tell me why I am wrong," ________ Tanvi.'
Choose the appropriate tag word for the dialogue.
screeched
acknowledged
answered
demanded
From the dialogue, we surmise that Tanvi is unclear why her boss thinks she is wrong and the boss may not be forthcoming. Thus, Tanvi is demanding her boss to give reason why she was wrong. The other options do not warrant the reaction implied in the meaning of the words
6.
"Did you see that"
"See what?"
"That skyscraper."
These three pieces of dialogue are spoken in sequence by three sisters, Ayesha, Athiya and Amina. Choose the appropriate tag words.
Ayesha asked, "Did you see that? Athiya said, "See what?" "That skyscraper," pointed Amina.
Ayesha said, "Did you see that", Ayesha said. "See what?", Athiya said. "That skyscraper," said Amina.
Ayesha asked, "Did you see that?" Athiya asked, "See what?" "That skyscraper," said Amina.
Ayesha said, "Did you see that?" Athiya asked, "See what?" "That skyscraper," said Amina.
While all the options are grammatically correct, option 1 is the most apt because it has three different tags and they are more expressive
7.
'The policeman warned, "Children, be _______ while walking on the footpath."'
Choose the word that fills the blank to complete the sentence. The clue is the tag word 'warned.'
bold
carefree
careful
hasty
The policeman is warning the children and hence 'careful' is the right word. The words in the other options do not support the context in the sentence
8.
'I want to go to the movies declared Manav will you come with me he requested his friend.'
Punctuate the sentence correctly.
"I want to go to the movies, declared Manav. Please come with me," he requested his friend.
"I want to go to the movies," declared Manav. "Please come with me," he requested his friend.
"I want to go to the movies," declared Manav. Please come with me, he requested his friend.
I want to go to the movies, declared Manav. "Please come with me," he requested his friend.
There are two sentences and hence two sets of quotation marks. The other options do not show two sets of quotation marks
9.
Choose the correctly punctuated sentence from the following options.
He asked me, "Why didn't you come to the movie with us."
He asked me, "Why didn't you come to the movie with us"?
He asked me "Why didn't you come to the movie with us?"
He asked me, "Why didn't you come to the movie with us?"
Option 4 is correctly punctuated. In option 1, the sentence should end with a question mark. In option 2, the question mark should come within the quotation marks. In option 3, there should be a comma after 'me' and before the quotation
10.
Choose the sentence that is incorrectly punctuated from the following options.
"Children tomorrow we will make a visit to the Lal Bagh," the principal informed the students.
"I never want to see your face again," thundered the irate supervisor.
The class teacher asked the children, "Are you all ready for the test?"
Sudha inquired, "When will you come to our new house?"
Remember that punctuation within quotation marks should follow the general rules of punctuation. The sentence should read '"Children, tomorrow we will make a visit to the Lal Bagh," the principal informed the students.' There should be a comma after 'Children.''
Author:  V T Narendra

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