Results 1 to 7 of 7

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #1

    I need help please

    Do you require a comma after the words like saying, screaming?

    The boy ran screaming, "Catch me!"

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #2

    Re: I need help please

    Hi, and welcome to Using English.

    You do if what follows is a direct quote.

    He was screaming that we should follow him.
    He was screaming, "Follow me!"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 577
    #3

    Re: I need help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Hi, and welcome to Using English.

    You do if what follows is a direct quote.

    He was screaming that we should follow him.
    He was screaming, "Follow me!"
    No, you don't. It's optional, though at least some think it's bad practice to put a comma in since it's redundant. Here's what one website has to say:

    "A sentence containing a quotation is punctuated exactly like any other sentence apart from the addition of the quotation marks. You should not insert additional punctuation marks into the sentence merely to warn the reader that a quotation is coming up: that's what the quotation marks are for"

    For more on this, visit: Quotation Marks and Direct Quotations


    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 5
    #4

    Re: I need help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    This is from the Purdue Online Writing Lab:

    Mr. Johnson, who was working in his field that morning, said, "The alien spaceship appeared right before my own two eyes."

    Martin Luther King Jr. said of the Emancipation Proclamation, "This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice."

    Who said, "Fame means when your computer modem is broken, the repair guy comes out to your house a little faster"?

    Your question was concerned with a direct quote. In the US, at least, the standard is that a comma is required.

    What about when it comes to present tense? With words like "saying" (instead of said).
    Example: He kept saying "No!"
    or should it be: He kept saying, "No!"

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

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #5

    Re: I need help please

    I've certainly been aware of the difference in US/UK usage between the placement of the comma or period/full stop at the end of passage in quotes, but this is the first time I have ever seen that BrE doesn't use a comma before the quote.

    Omitting the comma is actually incorrect in the US. Now I know that including it is incorrect in the UK.

    What do the Aussies do, Ray?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: May 2010
    • Posts: 577
    #6

    Re: I need help please

    [QUOTE=Barb_D;613451]
    Omitting the comma is actually incorrect in the US. Now I know that including it is incorrect in the UK.

    QUOTE]

    I would not say that including a comma is incorrect in BrEng on the basis of one respected BrEng style guide. I simply quoted from this to illustrate that usage is a matter of opinion.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #7

    Re: I need help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    What do the Aussies do, Ray?
    In academic writing, a comma is prescribed:
    Smith (2008)writes, "This finding is not new ...."
    It's possible that, if the quote follows on seamlessly, a comma isn't needed:
    Smith (2008)writes that "this is not new ...."

    But we're not talking about academic writing.
    For dialogue, I always use a comma. So do Patrick White, Peter Carey, and other first rate Australian novelists (or their publishers).

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •