Thursday, May 1, 2014

Quoted Speech/ Direct Reported Speech

Every day, people say important, interesting, funny, or annoying things.  And we often decide to write about these things! When we do this, we need to remember a few necessary rules for punctuation and placement. 


Let’s take a look at this famous little quote by Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci: 


Learning never exhausts the mind.


To write this as quoted speech, we can do it in three simple ways.
1) Leonardo Da Vinci said, “Leaning never exhausts the mind.” (Notice the comma, quotation marks, and capital L)
2) “Learning never exhausts the mind,” said Leonardo Da Vinci. (Notice the comma, quotation marks, and lower-case s)
3) “Leaning never exhausts the mind,” Leonardo Da Vinci said. (We just changed the “said”)

Which choice is best? All are equally correct. It is your job to pick the one that sounds best when used in your paragraph or essay!


What happens when we want to write down more than one sentence in our quote?


Here is a nice one by Abigail Adams: '=


Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence


To write this as quoted speech, we have FOUR choices:
1) Abigail Adams said, “Leaning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” (tag line first, then the two sentences all quotes together.)
2)  “Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence,” said Abigail Adams. (the tag line at the end.)
3)  ”Learning is not attained by chance. It must be sought for with ardor and diligence,” Abigail Adams said. (Similar to #2, but we moved the “said.”)
4)  (My favorite) “Learning is not attained by chance,” said Abigail Adams.  “It must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” (tag line in the middle! note the placement of the comma, quotation marks, period, lower-case “s” and capital “I.”)
Again, all are equally correct. You will choose the one that sounds best in your writing.



Here is one by Henry Ford that is THREE sentences:


Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.


What are are choices here?
1) Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
2) “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young,” Henry Ford said.
3)  ”Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young,” said Henry Ford.
4)  ”Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty,” said Henry Ford. ”Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
5) “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young,” said Henry Ford. ”The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

What about for quoted questions?


(*I’ve changed these a little to make them work better here!)


In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliette, Juliette asked this (kind of!):


Where are you, Romeo?


1) Juliette asked, “Where are you, Romeo?” (ASKED not SAID)
2) “Where are you, Romeo?” asked Juliette. (NO COMMA! Question mark+quotation mark+ lower-case “a”)
3) “Where are you, Romeo?” Juliette asked. (same as #2- but we moved the “asked”)


What happens when we have a regular statement AND a question in our quote?


Here is one by Albert Einstein (*I changed this one a little, too.)


There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy. Am I, or are the others crazy?


1) Albert Einstein said, “There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy. Am I, or are the others crazy?” (“said” before the statement)
2) (My favorite) “There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy,” said Albert Einstein. ”Am I, or are the others crazy?” (“said” after the statement)
3) ”There is a question that sometimes drives me hazy. Am I, or are the others crazy?” asked Albert Einstein. (“asked” after the question)


Click here to watch a YouTube video lesson bout quoted speech.


Below is a printable exercises for quoted speech practice:



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