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Punctuate Direct Speech

In this worksheet, students practise punctuating direct speech, including the use of a comma before closing speech marks.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Writing: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation

Curriculum subtopic:  Use and Punctuate Speech

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

When writing direct speech it is important to remember to use other punctuation as well as the speech marks.

For example:

 

"I like climbing trees," Billy said.

In this sentence there is a comma after the word 'trees' but before the closing speech marks.

 

If the order of the sentence is changed so that the direct speech is at the end, then the punctuation is different.

Billy said, "I like climbing trees."

There is a comma after the word 'said' and a full stop after the word 'trees' but before the closing speech marks.

 

If the speech ends in an exclamation mark or a question mark, then that comes before the closing speech marks and a comma is not needed.

"Help!" shouted Emma.

"Can you hear me?" asked John.

 

If the word order is changed the sentences look like this:

Emma shouted, "Help!"

John asked, "Can you hear me?"

 

The first word of the direct speech always begins with a capital letter even if it is not the start of the sentence.

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

Mary asked, "Can I have another piece of paper?"

Mary asked, "Can I have another piece of paper"

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

"This is my seat," Tim insisted.

"This is my seat." Tim insisted.

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

"Please post this parcel", he asked.

"Please post this parcel," he asked.

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

The tramp asked "Could I have that old coat?"

The tramp asked, "Could I have that old coat?"

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

The driver said, "the bus is already full."

The driver said, "The bus is already full."

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

"Are we there yet," asked Parvati.

"Are we there yet?" asked Parvati.

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

Tim said I’ve got toothache

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

when are you coming back asked Dwayne

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

Paul asked can I come swimming with you

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

I'm stuck shouted Billy

  • Question 1

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
Mary asked, "Can I have another piece of paper?"
EDDIE SAYS
Mary is asking a question so you need a question mark before the closing speech marks.
  • Question 2

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
"This is my seat," Tim insisted.
EDDIE SAYS
A comma is used before the closing speech marks if the name of the speaker comes next. If it was the other way round then a full stop would be correct. Tim insisted, "This is my seat."
  • Question 3

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Please post this parcel," he asked.
EDDIE SAYS
The comma comes before the closing speech marks, not after them.
  • Question 4

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
The tramp asked, "Could I have that old coat?"
EDDIE SAYS
A comma is needed after the word 'asked'.
  • Question 5

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
The driver said, "The bus is already full."
EDDIE SAYS
Direct speech always begins with a capital letter.
  • Question 6

Read the following sentences and decide which one is punctuated correctly.

CORRECT ANSWER
"Are we there yet?" asked Parvati.
EDDIE SAYS
Parvati is asking a question so a question mark is needed.
  • Question 7

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

Tim said I’ve got toothache

CORRECT ANSWER
Tim said, "I've got toothache!"
Tim said, "I've got toothache."
EDDIE SAYS
Tim's speech can end with either a full stop or an exclamation mark depending on how forcefully he says it. If he is in a lot of pain he may be shouting!
  • Question 8

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

when are you coming back asked Dwayne

CORRECT ANSWER
"When are you coming back?" asked Dwayne.
EDDIE SAYS
It is a question so don't forget the question mark.
  • Question 9

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

Paul asked can I come swimming with you

CORRECT ANSWER
Paul asked, "Can I come swimming with you?"
EDDIE SAYS
Remember the question mark here, too.
  • Question 10

Copy out the following sentence and punctuate it correctly.

 

I'm stuck shouted Billy

CORRECT ANSWER
"I'm stuck!" shouted Billy.
EDDIE SAYS
An exclamation mark is needed because Billy is shouting.
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