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Capital letter after direct speech

(15 Posts)
ComfyPillow Tue 24-Oct-17 17:58:35

I’m trying I explain to DS2 that we don’t use a capital letter after direct speech even when we’ve used a question or exclamation mark. DH thinks I’m wrong. Now I’m questioning myself.
So I’d write
‘Did you enjoy the soup?’ asked Bob.
DH thinks it should be,
‘Did you enjoy the soup?’ Asked Bob

I know you’ve closed the sentence by using a question or exclamation mark but my understanding is that for the purpose of flow, we keep it lower case. DS2 is 12 and doing half term HW. Thanks

AgentProvocateur Tue 24-Oct-17 18:01:17

You are right.

ComfyPillow Tue 24-Oct-17 18:05:07

Thanks AP.
Can you explain to me why in a way I can explain to 12yr old DS2?

OlennasWimple Tue 24-Oct-17 18:05:37

You are right.

If the sentence was something like

"Do you like the soup?" He paused, waiting for a reply.

Then DH would be right because it would be two separate sentences.

OlennasWimple Tue 24-Oct-17 18:07:27

Think of the speech marks like ( )

You don't use a capital letter after parentheses (unless they are at the end of the sentence).

ComfyPillow Tue 24-Oct-17 18:50:16

But technically the sentence has closed because I’ve used a question mark, has it not? I’m sure I’m correct (and you’ve all just confirmed this) but I’m just not sure why and how to explain it to DS. grin

somethingDifferent38 Tue 24-Oct-17 18:52:52

No, you haven't ended the sentence, because the question mark was part of what you were quoting. Everything inside the quotes is kept separate, and out side the rules affecting what is outside them.

clary Tue 24-Oct-17 18:54:18

You are right. You haven't closed the sentence, just as you don't close it with a comma (which ought to be a full stop anyway!). The quote is part of the sentence. Otherwise DH is positing 'asked Bob" as a complete sentence, which is clearly nonsense.

somethingDifferent38 Tue 24-Oct-17 18:54:30

"Do you like the soup?" He paused, waiting for a reply.
And I think this needs a separate full stop after the quotes, if the next bit is intended as a new sentence.

clary Tue 24-Oct-17 18:57:31

When I say the comma should be a full stop, I mean it should (logically) be "I love chocolate." said Clary. In fact we use a comma - in order to make it clear that it is one sentence. The question mark needs to be a qu mark of course, not a comma, to make the meaning of the phrase clear.

ComfyPillow Tue 24-Oct-17 19:39:01

Ah that makes sense. So it’s like BIDMAS/BODMAS for Grammar? grin
Thanks everyone. smile

OlennasWimple Tue 24-Oct-17 22:22:28

somethingDifferent - yes, you're right (I initially wrote something different as my example, and obviously deleted the full stop and didn't replace it....)....

Northernknickers Sun 18-Feb-18 07:33:45

The 'asked Bob' or 'whispered Mary suggestively!' is called the reporting clause. It's still part of the same a stage direction if you like, giving the speaker directions on how to say their lines. Therefore no capital letter needed. I'm an English teacher....I have to get this correct otherwise my students would fail their exams 😉

DadDadDad Wed 21-Feb-18 12:56:34

But Northern, does it always take you 4 months to mark your students' homework? smile

(check posting dates on this thread)

Northernknickers Wed 21-Feb-18 15:15:42

@DadDadDad Are you always so rude? 🙄

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