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Clowne Junior School

Working together for success and happiness


To be able to punctuate and set out speech


Yesterday, we focused on how to make speech meaningful and interesting; today we are focusing on making sure that we are clear on how to set out speech in a story and to punctuate it.


The main thing to remember is it really needs to be easy to follow and the reader needs to be clear on which character is speaking.


TASK 1: Watch the really useful video (the link is at the top of this page) which goes through all the rules - pause if necessary or watch more than once.


Hopefully, you are now much clearer on how to set out a conversation between characters. However, here are some clear guidelines to remind you and help you complete task 2.


Guidelines to setting out dialogue in a story

  • When a new character starts to speak then go on to a new line.
  • If a character has finished speaking and then you want to go back to the story go on to a new line.
  • Opening speech marks (inverted commas) are followed by a capital letter. E.g. “What are you….
  • Before putting the closing speech marks, make sure you put punctuation. . E.g. “What are you doing?” asked the teacher.

E.g. “Help!” the old man cried. 

  • Only put a full stop when it is the definite end of the sentence.      E.g. Sarah said, “I’m really tired today.
  • If it is NOT the end of the sentence (and it’s not a question ? or exclamation!) then use a comma before the closing speech marks.

E.g. “I’m really tired today,” said Sarah.





Below the pupil Fred Bloggs has written a conversation between Medusa and the hero Perseus. It’s great (good ideas, adventurous vocabulary, dramatic) but he hasn’t really grasped the rules completely.  In the first section the teacher has underlined in green where Fred needs to make a correction or add something. In the second part the teacher has left in blank to see if Fred can spot it on his own. Help Fred out and edit the text so it is more accurate and easier to follow. Either edit with a purple pen or rewrite the dialogue and correct as you go.



Stealthily, Perseus stepped into the dark cave (Medusa’s lair). He could sense that someone or something was watching him.

who has come to pay me a little visit this time   “called out an eerie voice in the darkness.

       I…I…I am Perseus, son of Danae,     replied Perseus nervously.

welcome Perseus, you have found the famous Medusa. Here I am! Come closer dear boy and take a look,    she hissed.

Perseus bravely said,     No Medusa, I will not look at you. I know what will happen to me if I


Medusa laughed menacingly “young hero, I mean you no harm. You shouldn’t listen to tales. Just take a little peek; you know you want to

Perseus was tempted but was determined not to fail and so cautiously crept forward.

“COME ON you must look at me she demanded. No Medusa I will not  Perseus boldly replied.

Clutching his shield to see where she was. Her reflection made him gasp in horror. As quietly as he could, he pulled the sword from its sheath.

“I shall be known as the man who slayed Medusa! he shouted. Powerfully, he swung his sword towards her.



Put yourself into a famous story/film and have you meeting one of the characters. Write down the conversation you have. It could be you meeting Voldemort or Goldilocks or Malificent or Darth Vader or Olaf. It can be as SILLY as you like BUT don’t forget the rules of speech!