He said in his head.

99bottles

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'Focus, girl,' she thought/inwardly said/said in her head.

Are all three of those options correct when describing something someone says to themselves? So far, I have used all three of them interchangeably in my works.
 

ProbusMkV

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I'd avoid the third one. We have the stock phrase "She said to herself".
 

Tarheel

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I would say she said to herself (meaning not out loud) If she said it out loud I would use the phrase she said out loud.
 

99bottles

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I would say she said to herself (meaning not out loud) If she said it out loud I would use the phrase she said out loud.


Perhaps I could use she inwardly said to herself to make it clear she didn't say it out loud?
 

Tarheel

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That would work. Or even just she said to herself. If you want the reader to know she said it aloud then use those words.
 

99bottles

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I find that unnatural.


So, I just say said to herself when I mean she said it without vocalizing it, whereas I say said to herself out loud when I mean that she was literally speaking to herself. Right?
 

Tarheel

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I would say she said it out loud without the to herself part. For example, if she was alone and she said something out loud she would be talking to herself and not somebody else.
 

99bottles

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I would say she said it out loud without the to herself part. For example, if she was alone and she said something out loud she would be talking to herself and not somebody else.


Ok, but if someone else is there too, shouldn't I specify that she says it to herself?
 

Tarheel

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Yes, that makes sense.
 

emsr2d2

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If she said something aloud while someone else was there but the comment wasn't intended to be heard by the other person, you can use "she said under her breath".
 

Tarheel

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I'm not sure why the distinction, but if you do it while you're alone it's called talking to yourself. If you do it while others are around it's called thinking out loud. I know I have said a time or two "Oh, I was just just thinking out loud." The response is always something like "Oh. OK."
 

Tdol

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I don't like the inwardly version.
 
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