Top Tip Of The Week

Crafty Commas!

A lot of new writers are unsure where commas should be placed when writing dialogue. Here’s a guide to help you:

If you lead into a passage of speech with ownership, a comma should be placed before the words of speech e.g.:

Sarah said, “Would you like a cup of tea?”

Alternatively, if the speech comes first, insert a comma after the speech and before assigning ownership e.g.:

“I prefer coffee, thank you,” David replied.

Sometimes speech sits either side of the ownership. In this case, the commas are as follows:

“After the day I’ve had, I think I need something a little stronger,” Stuart said, “a double whiskey, no ice!”


That’s it for my blog this week. Hope you’re sharing that Friday feeling:





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3 Responses to Top Tip Of The Week

  1. Tony says:

    I’m not too bad with comma placement, well at least I think so. I seem to remember being told that they should be used represent a pause in speech, is this correct?

    Hope you had a great Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year.


    • Yes, that’s right, Tony. I always read passages of speech out loud and this helps to see where there’s a natural pause and hence where the comma should be placed when it’s written down.

      I had a great Christmas thanks. Hope you did too. All the best for 2014.

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