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Quotation Marks for Dialogue

letters-1122421__180You normally see quotation marks when used in dialogue. They are the standard punctuation used in that scenario. Though most of us recognize that and accept it, let’s review it so we are all on the same page.

What is Dialogue?

Dialogue is the spoken exchange between characters as written on paper. It is the actual words exchanged. It is not the actions or descriptions. It is all talk.

If you were watching a movie, the dialogue would be the words that come out of the actors’ mouths. Now on that screen, you can see the lips moving and hear the words. On written paper, you need those quotation marks to do that job for you. They help you ‘hear’ the words.

Double or Single?

When it comes to dialogue, always use double quotation marks (“) before the speaking part begins and when it ends. Single should only be used if you are quoting something within dialogue so you don’t have too many double quotation marks to confuse the reader as to what is being spoken. Remember that all punctuation is directional signals for reading traffic.

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