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Monday 27th April 2020

We hope you've all had a relaxing weekend.


Well done for all of you who completed the newspaper report. We saw some fantastic pieces of work.Today in English, we are going to recap speech punctuation as we feel this is an area wee need to improve on.


In Year 3, we learn to write direct speech (quoting exact words spoken) and indirect speech (reporting a conversation).







We are going to focus on direct speech.


"Oh no!" said the students.


"Oh yes!" said Mr Cawley.



So what are the rules for punctuating speech correctly?


The general rules of direct speech are:

  • Each new character's speech starts on a new line.
  • Speech is opened with speech marks.
  • Each line of speech starts with a capital.
  • The line of speech ends with a comma, exclamation mark or question mark.
  • A reporting clause is used at the end (said Jane, shouted Paul, replied Mum).
  • A full stop goes after the reporting clause.
  • If the reporting clause is at the start, use a comma after it (Jane said, "Who are you?")
  • If the direct speech in the sentence is broken up by information about who is speaking, add in a comma or question mark or exclamation mark to end the first piece of speech and a full stop or another comma before the second piece (before the speech marks), for example: "It's lovely," she sighed, "but I can't afford it right now." / "I agree!" said Kate. "Let's go!



"But that sounds really long and confusing," said the children.

"You're not wrong," replied Mr Cawley.


Notice that in purple you see my speech marks. They are only around the words SPOKEN.


Notice in blue you see my comma. If the words spoken are said normally, add a comma.

If they are being shouted/exclaimed, add an exclamation mark instead!

If a question is being asked, replace the question mark with a comma.






Re-write the following sentences.

Make sure to look for the following 3 things:

1. Speech marks around the words being spoken.

2. Capital letters at the start of the speech.

3. A comma, exclamation mark or question mark after the speech and BEFORE the closing speech mark.





Extension task:


Write your own sentences and punctuate them correctly. 


Too easy?


Try writing speech with the verb of speaking at the start.


Mr Cawley said, "Always eat your broccoli."


Notice the comma after the verb of speaking (said). It's very important to include it when the verb of speaking is at the start.