In writing, we use two types of speech: direct speech and indirect speech.
Direct speech Indirect speech (reported speech)
Inverted commas are used to show Reported speech shows what someone
the direct words that someone has spoken. said without quoting their
E.g “What are you doing?” asked Billy. exact words; therefore, inverted commas
“I am very disappointed,” said mum. are not required.
E.g Alice said that she was desperate to
climb the mountain.
Mum said that she was very disappointed.
Punctuating direct speech
When punctuating direct speech, all commas, full stops, question marks and exclamation marks must be inside the inverted commas. Direct speech must also begin with a capital letter.
Where speech comes before a verb, a comma must be used if a question mark or exclamation mark isn’t required.
E.g “I visited France in the summer holidays,” announced Fred.
Direct speech can also follow the verb. A comma must be used after the verb to indicate that the direct speech is about to begin. Speech must still begin with a capital letter and in this case, it
ends with a full stop.
E.g Fred announced, “I visited France in the summer holidays.”
Split Speech (UKS2) New Speaker, New Line
If the direct speech is one sentence split If a passage in a text contains direct speech
by information about who is speaking, a from more than one person, a new line
comma ends the first part of speech must be required for each speaker.
and comes before the second part begins. This makes it easier for the reader to follow.
A capital letter is not required for E.g “Please can I borrow a pencil crayon?”
the second part of speech. asked Izzy.
E.g “Well,” announced Tim, “what are you “Yes, sure,” replied Tom. “Which colour would
waiting for?” you like?”
If the speech is two sentences split by “Blue please,” replied Izzy.
information about who is speaking, a full
stop is used before the second sentence
instead of a comma.
E.g “This is fantastic,” cried Sam. “Can we do it