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    #1

    Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    1. "Here, why don't you carry the kitten," Kathy said, handling her pet to Lisa.
    2. "Here, why don't you carry the kitten?" Kathy said, handling her pet to Lisa.

    Which of the above sentences is correctly punctuated with regard to the word 'kitten'?

    Thanks.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    She's not actually asking a question (she's making a suggestion), so the question mark is not really appropriate.
    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.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    1. "Here, why don't you carry the kitten," Kathy said, handling her pet to Lisa.
    2. "Here, why don't you carry the kitten?" Kathy said, handling her pet to Lisa.

    Which of the above sentences is correctly punctuated with regard to the word 'kitten'?

    Thanks.
    As far as I'm concerned, only #2 is correct. The question mark is required after the word "kitten". However, in BrE, a comma is also required but it goes outside the quotation marks and I would also say that "said Kathy" is more common here than "Kathy said" at that point of the sentence. Note that it's "handing", not "handling".

    "Here, why don't you carry the kitten?", said Kathy, handing her pet to Lisa.

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    #4

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    Thus showing how even native speakers can disagree!
    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.

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    #5

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    I hadn't seen your response while I was typing mine. As you say, native speakers don't always agree. In this case, even with a suggestion, I would use the question mark.

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    #6

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    I'd go for no comma before 'Kathy'.
    "Here, why don't you carry the kitten?" Kathy said, handing her pet to Lisa.

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    #7

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I'd go for no comma before 'Kathy'.
    "Here, why don't you carry the kitten?" Kathy said, handing her pet to Lisa.
    I was going to write exactly the same.

    Rover

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    #8

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    I should perhaps point out, Tan Elaine, that there are no absolute rules about the finer points of punctuation. In normal correspondence, we are not too worried about this. If you write for publication, you will find that publishers have their own rules about this. However you punctuate your manuscript, it will be edited to conform to the house style.

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    #9

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I should perhaps point out, Tan Elaine, that there are no absolute rules about the finer points of punctuation. In normal correspondence, we are not too worried about this. If you write for publication, you will find that publishers have their own rules about this. However you punctuate your manuscript, it will be edited to conform to the house style.
    It's funny that you said this because I thought that English grammar has an universal rule that everybody should be adhere to.

    (I don't know if the word "adhere" even makes sense in this sentence)

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    #10

    Re: Which sentence is correctly punctuated?

    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi man View Post
    It's funny that you said this because I thought that English grammar has an universal rule that everybody should be adhere to.

    (I don't know if the word "adhere" even makes sense in this sentence)
    If English grammar had universal rules which could always be followed, this forum probably wouldn't exist. There would be one grammar book which all learners would own and they would always be able to find the answer they want in that book.

    Punctuation, grammar, spelling etc are all subject to the differences of British English, American English, Canadian English, Australian English, Indian English etc, and even within those countries there are regional differences.

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