Punctuation and inverted commas
Home learning focus
Learn how to use inverted commas to punctuate speech.
This lesson includes:
Remind yourself all about inverted commas by watching this video.
Watch the clip below to brush up on your understanding of why and how inverted commas are used.
- When you are writing, inverted commas (speech marks) go before and after direct speech. They surround what was said by the speaker.
Example: "I'm hungry," she complained.
- If another character replies, use another set of inverted commas.
Example: "What's for tea?" she asked. "Delicious ants!" her mum replied.
Each new piece of speech must start with a capital letter.
Punctuation, such as question marks, full stops and exclamation marks go inside the inverted commas.
If you name the person who is speaking before the speech, you must use a comma before the first set of inverted commas.
Example: Mr Fox exclaimed, “Let’s go for a run!”.
You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.
In this activity, highlight the speech within the text.
- Look and think:
Find an animal picture and imagine you are writing a story about it.
Write a description of what is happening in that picture including speech (dialogue) between the characters (the animals) that is accurately punctuated with inverted commas.
One fine day the troublesome trio decided to relax by a serene river when, suddenly, a hippo popped up. "Good day fine canines." she bellowed.
Surprised, Rusty the dog exclaimed, “Oh wow! I’ve never seen a water dog before!”
Try to use a synonym to make your writing more interesting. For example, you could use the word said to show how the character is speaking.
Examples: whispered, shrieked, shouted, screamed, mumbled.
You can either print out this activity sheet or write your answers on a piece of paper.
Try this activity to explore using inverted commas.