How to: Punctuate speech
So, by Year 6, most of us are very good at putting the inverted commas (more commonly called speech marks) in the correct place, around the words that are spoken. However, there are often mistakes with placing the commas and capital letters accurately. So, here is an incorrect example:
"That can't be true." Josephine gasped as she decided to do something slightly different to what she had been asked by the teacher.
The issue here is the full stop after the word true. At the end of speech, unless you have used a ? or ! in the speech, it needs to end with a comma, like this:
"That can't be true," Josephine gasped as she decided to do something slightly different to what she had been asked by the teacher.
You also need to use a comma if the speech comes after the 'said.' Here are some more examples - look out for the commas. Also look out for the capital letters - speech always starts with a capital letter, even if it feels like you are in the middle of a sentence.
Mia thought quietly to herself, "This is confusing, why do I have to put all of these commas here?"
"I'm quite hungry," said Henry, "I could really do with a sandwich now."
"Wow it's a spaceship!" whispered Alex in astonishment, "This can't be happening."
So, bearing all of this in mind, write out the cartoon below using accurate speech punctuation. Go wild with your description of what is happening in between. Answers are below, but do get in touch if you need further support with this at Year6@becket.n-somerset.sch.uk.
The answer (I've added the description - if your description is different but your punctuation is the same, you got it right):
"I got a smiley face sticker on my quiz," said Maisie, smugly, making sure that Calvin could hear her.
"Whoop-de-doo for you," sighed Calvin, under his breath.
For only a second there was silence, but this was clearly not going to end any time soon.
"What did you get?" smiled Maisie, sweetly.
"None of your darn business!" shouted Calvin.
"You got a frowny face didn't you?" jeered Maisie. It was clear that she was not going to let this go.
Calvin thought hard for a minute. Suddenly a whole new world was opening up to him: a world in which everyone else seemed to get a reward for their hard work. Turning to Maisie sulkily, he replied, "No, as a matter of fact I didn't. I didn't even know they made barfing face stickers."