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Help me with this grammar question please

(88 Posts)
lorisparkle Sun 29-Jan-17 14:58:05

My knowledge of grammar is pretty poor and I am a bit confused by this question........

Tick the option which is punctuated correctly.

"It's time to leave Ian." said Lesley.

"It's time, to leave Ian." said Lesley.

"It's, time to leave Ian." said Lesley.

"It's time to leave, Ian." said Lesley.

My confusion is that I think there should be a comma and not a full stop after Ian. I have had a look on the all knowing google, but can not find a definite answer.

Many thanks

TeenAndTween Sun 29-Jan-17 15:02:06

Well from those options I would go with the last one.

But I agree with you I would also expect a comma after Ian.

mrz Sun 29-Jan-17 15:05:09

It depends on the meaning

If you plan to leave Ian or if you are telling Ian it's time.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Sun 29-Jan-17 15:05:19

I would either go for 1 or 4 depending on whether it was on the relationships board. I'm guessing though that Lesley wants Ian to come with her rather than advising user12334578392 to leave someone called Ian.

leighdinglady Sun 29-Jan-17 15:05:53

The last one. There wouldn't be a comma after Ian because the sentence being said by Leslie has finished

JennyOnAPlate Sun 29-Jan-17 15:06:07

I guess it's supposed to be the last one, but the full stop is wrong.

mrz Sun 29-Jan-17 15:07:19

Full stop is correct

BertrandRussell Sun 29-Jan-17 15:08:03

Either the last or the first. As it's primary school, the last. And the full stop is right.

EweAreHere Sun 29-Jan-17 15:09:31

The first one is correct if someone is being advised to leave Ian behind.

The last one is correct if someone is telling Ian it's time to leave.

Commas should be used inside the speech marks instead of full stops.

languagelearner Sun 29-Jan-17 15:11:23

I think it depends whether you talk about Ian, or to Ian. The first one, you talk about Ian with someone else. The last one, you are talking to Ian, and you two are about to leave the room or wherever you are.

This one is rather funny too:
"An English professor wrote on the board: A woman without her man is nothing. The class was then asked to punctuate the sentence. All the men wrote: 'A woman, without her man, is nothing.' All the women wrote: 'A woman: without her, man is nothing.'"

Shadowboy Sun 29-Jan-17 15:11:47

The full stop is correct. It was the end of the sentence that Lesley said.

notagiraffe Sun 29-Jan-17 15:14:05

They're all incorrect. There should be a comma after Ian as well as before, as the sentence doesn't end until Lesley has spoken.

But it's an ambiguous question, as it is grammatically correct with or without a comma before Ian. Without means it's time for someone to leave a person called Ian. With means Lesley is telling Ian that it's time to leave.

EweAreHere Sun 29-Jan-17 15:15:35

The full stop is not correct as it's written: ".....," said Lesley.

If there was no 'said Lesley' attached to the sentence, then there would be a full stop after Ian. But there is, so you need to use a comma there. You have to look at the sentence as a whole.

Squeegle Sun 29-Jan-17 15:17:17

The fourth one is correct, the full stop is correct. I can't see why it wouldn't be, it's the end of a sentence.

flumperoo Sun 29-Jan-17 15:19:21

I also think they're all wrong as there should be a comma, not a full stop, after Ian.

EweAreHere Sun 29-Jan-17 15:20:18

There is a comma because of the 'said Lesley' attached to the sentence:

"It's time to leave, Ian," said Lesley.

Or "It's time to leave, Ian."

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 29-Jan-17 15:23:03

They are all incorrect.

You will need to add a further option:

"It's time to leave, Ian," said Lesley.

When punctuating direct speech, it is irrelevant that the sentence is finished; there is still a comma rather than a full stop at that point.

jelliebelly Sun 29-Jan-17 15:23:45

It's the last one, full stop is correct.

YogaDrone Sun 29-Jan-17 15:27:06

I agree that the final statement is the most correct but it should be a comma not a full stop. Why would a lower case "said" follow a full stop? It would be:

"It's time to leave, Ian." Said Lesley. And this clearly isn't correct.

It should be "It's time to leave, Ian," said Lesley. This is the complete sentence.

IHeartKingThistle Sun 29-Jan-17 15:28:56

English teacher here. OP, you're right. Yoga has explained it!

TheOnlyLivingBoyInNewCross Sun 29-Jan-17 15:31:42

I am in despair at all the posters confidently announcing that the full stop is correct!

Even if you've never learnt how to punctuate direct speech in school, have you never read a novel? In which you will never see direct speech punctuated with a full stop like that?


"Hello, Nick," said Harry.

"Hello, hello," said Nearly Headless Nick, starting and looking round. He wore a dashing, plumed hat on his long curly hair, and a tunic with a ruff, which concealed the fact that his neck was almost completely severed. He was pale as smoke, and Harry could see right through him to the dark sky and torrential rain outside.

"You look troubled, young Potter," said Nick, folding a transparent letter as he spoke and tucking it inside his doublet.

"So do you," said Harry.

goingmadinthecountry Sun 29-Jan-17 15:32:21

All are incorrect. It should definitely be a comma before closing the speech marks.

padkin Sun 29-Jan-17 15:32:40

They are all wrong because of the full stop after Ian. If there was no 'said Lesley.' then a full stop would be correct, but as the sentence reporting the speech continues with 'said Lesley?' there should be a comma after Ian.

Then it depends if the speaker is telling someone that it's time for them to leave Ian, or if they are speaking to Ian and telling him it's time to leave.

irvineoneohone Sun 29-Jan-17 15:33:32

This site has great grammar tutorial videos.

lorisparkle Sun 29-Jan-17 16:01:59

Many thanks everyone, the question did give more information about the context of the sentence (Lesley is telling Ian that it's time for them to leave) but I left it out.

The question was in a GP&S SATS question set for KS2. When I looked at it it looked wrong but because I am not confident in my grammar I wanted some firm answers before writing a comment to the teacher!

Many thanks again

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