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    Direct speech is used to give a speaker’s exact words. It is also referred to as direct quotation. Direct speech is always enclosed within quotation marks.

    Examples: Hemedi announced, “My aunt works in a biscuit factory ”  “Creating jobs will be my first priority” the governor said. A comma always separates the quoted words from the speaker’s name, whether the name comes before or after the quotation


    Jim asked “Who are you voting fir?”

    “I don’t know yet” answered Carol.

    A direct quotation always begins with a capital letter



    Senator Karabba said, “You must believe in the new constitution”.

    When a direct quotation is divided by speech tags, the second part of the quotation must begin with a small letter.


    Register to vote,” said the senator, ‘before the end of the day”.

    If the second part of the quotation is a complete sentence, the forst kword of this sentence is capitalized.

    Example: “I did register,” said Carol.

    “It took only a few minutes”

    Commas and full stops are placed inside quotation marks



    “Last night,” said Joyce,” I listened to a debate”

    Quotation marks and exclamation marks are placed inside a quotation mark if they belong to the quotation.

    If they do not, they are placed outside the quotation.


    Joyce asked, “Whom are you voting for?

    Did Carol say, “I don’t know yet’?

    I can’t believe that she said, “I don’t know yet’!

    Speech tags may appear before, in the middle or at the direct speech.



    He said, “You know quite well that you have to vote”

    “You know quite well, he said, “that you have to vote.”

    “You know quite well that you have to vote,” he said.


    Exercise 6

    Rewrite the following sentences correctly in direct speech.

    Ensure you puntuiate them accordingly.

    1. John said there was a terrible accident in Nairobi.
    2. Petro added it happened in Umoja Estate.
    3. it involved a train and a bus added John
    4. sarah asked did anyone die
    5. No one died, but the railway line was destroyed answered Peter
    6. Over the months said John the railway line has been rebuilt
    7. How lucky that no one died exclaimed Sarah
    8. I think kthey shoul put a railway-crossing sigh board

    Petro said it would help bus0drivers a lot

    1. Or they shoul put bumps on both sides of the railway line to slow down the buses John suggested
    2. Who knows what might happen next wondered Sarah



    See also:






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