Mastering inverted commas

Home learning focus

To revise the rules for inverted commas and use them to show speech in your writing.

This lesson includes:

  • a video to remind you how to use inverted commas

  • three activities


You have learnt about using inverted commas to show speech in a previous lesson. Today you are going to practise using them independently in your writing.

If you missed the lesson, you can take a look at it here or watch this short clip to revise what the rules are for using inverted commas.

Watch how inverted commas are used to show speech.


  • When you are writing, inverted commas (also called speech marks) go before and after any words that a character says (known as direct speech).

For example: "I'm hungry," complained Goldilocks.

  • If another character replies, the rule is to use another set of inverted commas and put the new person speaking on a new line.

For example:

"There’s some porridge on the stove,” said her mum.

"But I've already had some porridge today!” exclaimed Goldilocks.

  • Any punctuation goes inside the inverted commas at the end of what the character is saying.

Now watch this fun clip to make sure you've really understood inverted commas.

You could even sing and dance along with Mr Smith, if you like!

Sing along with Mr Smith as he teaches all about inverted commas.


You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Rewrite this conversation between Dani and her father, adding in the missing inverted commas.

Remember: Whenever a new person starts talking, you must move onto a new line.

How did you get mud all the way up to your knees? Dani’s father asked, with a frown.
I met a dragon in the wood on the way home exclaimed Dani. We went on a big adventure!
I suppose you’ll tell me you were fighting giants next! her father said, with a wink.
And wizards and witches said Dani smiling. We won!

Activity 2

Complete this 'Rules of speech' activity sheet. You need to rewrite the paragraph from The Three Bears. Use the bullet points to help you.

Top tip!

A synonym is a different word that means the same thing. Some synonyms for ‘said’ that you could use in this activity are ‘exclaimed’, ‘whispered’ and ‘suggested’.

Rules of speech activity sheet

Activity 3

Imagine you are sat at home with a friend or family member and something unusual happens. Maybe there’s a mysterious knock at the front door, perhaps your family pet starts to talk or you’ve suddenly been transported into space by an alien!

Imagine the conversation that you would have and write it down using inverted commas correctly.

Aim to write at least five sentences. If you really want to challenge yourself, you could make it into a full story!

Top tip!

  • Always remember to tell your reader who is speaking.

  • Start a new line when someone new talks.

  • Try to use synonyms for ‘said’. For example, ‘shouted’ or ‘whispered’.

Where next?

In this lesson you have revised the rules for using inverted commas and used them in your writing.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you understand punctuation.

There's more to learn

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