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  1. Eriko's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #1

    Capitalisation

    Hi Teachers,

    I was reading some compositions and I came across the same sentence in 2 different essays. However, the word "the" is capitalised in one essay and not the other. May I know which one is correct?

    1) "Ring! Ring!" The phone rang.
    2) "Ring! Ring!" the phone rang.

    If the words are rephrased in another way, do I need to capitalise the word "rang"?

    1) "Ring! Ring!" rang the bell.
    2) "Ring! Ring!" Rang the bell.

    May I also ask if there is any description for quoted words like "Ring!", "Thud!", "Bang!", etc? I often see action words like these but I can't find in the books or internet what these words are called.

    Regards.
    Last edited by Eriko; 24-Sep-2009 at 15:24.

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2006
    • Posts: 4,142
    #2

    Re: Capitalisation

    Quote Originally Posted by Eriko View Post
    Hi Teachers,

    I was reading some compositions and I came across the same sentence in 2 different essays. However, the word "the" is capitalised in one essay and not the other. May I know which one is correct?

    1) "Ring! Ring!" The phone rang.
    2) "Ring! Ring!" the phone rang.

    If the words are rephrased in another way, do I need to capitalise the word "rang"?

    1) "Ring! Ring!" rang the bell.
    2) "Ring! Ring!" Rang the bell.

    May I also ask if there is any description for quoted words like "Ring!", "Thud!", "Bang!", etc? I often see action words like these but I can't find in the books or internet what these words are called.

    Regards.
    Words that imitate a sound, like "ring," "thud" or "bang" are called onomatopoeia.

    In standard written English dialog, unless the word following the closing quotation marks is a proper noun, it would be in lower case (not capitalized).

    For example: "Stop! Thief!" shouted Sally.
    "Stop! Thief!" Sally shouted.

    In your examples, "Ring! Ring!" The telephone rang.
    would be correct if the writer was making two separate statements. The first statement describes the sound being made, the second describes the action making the sound.
    "Ring! Ring!" the telephone rang.
    is technically correct if the writer is describing the ring of the telephone bell as if the phone is speaking - "Ring! Ring!" said the telephone.

    It's the same as saying "Woof! Woof!" the dog barked. This gives us the impression that the dog is "speaking", or is the center of the action.
    Compare that to:
    "Woof! Woof!" The dog barked. This describes a situation in which a dog in the vicinity barked, and someone who was nearby heard it. The dog's bark is a sound effect, not an actual line of dialog.

  3. Eriko's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2009
    • Posts: 10
    #3

    Re: Capitalisation

    I couldn't find any books from my neighbourhood bookstores that could answer my question. Getting my elementary English up to a reasonable standard is enough to make my head spin! It was always a headache trying to figure out the 'why' a sentence is used in a particular way.

    Thank you for the detailed explanation, Teacher Ouisch. It was very helpful to me.

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