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Punctuation marks/aide

Cours gratuits > Forum > Forum anglais: Questions sur l'anglais || En bas


Punctuation marks/aide
Message de tylegal posté le 15-06-2013 à 09:50:24 (S | E | F)
I don't understand the correction of an exercise about punctuation (thanks to the unknown author, however). It says (I write it as it is, with no extra inverted commas):

'Hello Isabel,' said Andrew. 'Did you go to the cinema yesterday?'
What bothers me is the place of the full stop. It seems to me rather illogical, shouldn't it be:
'Hello Isabel', said Andrew, 'did you go to the cinema yesterday?'.
or may be:
'Hello Isabel,' said Andrew, 'did you go to the cinema yesterday?'
Or is it a specific English form?

Thanks to anyone who could help me... And thanks to all contributors of that marvellous site.

Modifié par lucile83 le 15-06-2013 18:52

Réponse: Punctuation marks/aide de violet91, postée le 15-06-2013 à 12:00:14 (S | E)
Hello ,

I'll try my best and give you my two pence worth . We know working at the differences between English and French punctuations is rather tricky, especially because we spend very little time - when we do - studying and teaching how it works in English . Your question is recurrent , you know , and with differences of styles , there may not be a stereotyped answer which suits all cases . English and French specialists do not always agree on that point .
I'd say French writers / teachers are rather ( or very ) strict about it , but as in English , the usage of punctuation has changed a lot over the years and styles .
Just compare Camus who apparently spent two days before choosing either a period and a semi- colon in this or that sentence of his great '
outsider ' and authors like Céline, Artaud , Robbe- Grillet ( 'Djinn' is taught as a French model in America , for tenses, modes and punctuation ) and ' nouveau roman', or recent writers who make' their own use ' of punctuation . And look at the evolution between the Brontë sisters , Jane Austen , Joyce and nowadays authors. We can see the same kind of evolution .
As for ' your ' sentence , it seems rather common style English , if I may say so .
I'd stick to the correction which reads :
' Hello Isabel,' said Andrew. ' Did you go to the cinema yesterday ? ' ( the locutor ,the writer )
The full stop should not be added after the question : the sentence is properly finished with a question mark and the answer will follow .
Moreover, you don't use as many marks of punctuation in English as you do in French .

To conclude , I'd say punctuation works as a sort of breathing : it gives the rhythm of the speech or narration . And with time, it has become more simplified and flexible according to the fact that many people write as they speak.

I hope I have been as helpful and clear as possible .
Have a nice day !

Réponse: Punctuation marks/aide de hushpuppy, postée le 15-06-2013 à 18:19:30 (S | E)
Could you give us the exercise number ? Long story short, we use commas to continue a dialogue instead of chopping it up into little sentences. For me, I'd imagine this was something like :
"Hi Andrew," said Isabel.
"Hello Isabel," said Andrew.
"Did you go to the cinema yesterday?" (said Isabel)
"Hi Andrew," said Isabel. "Hello Isabel," said Andrew. "Did you go to the cinema yesterday?" "Yes," said Isabel. "The film was very interesting."

As you can see, all depends on the writer's style of telling the story. However, without more information, I couldn't tell you which it is.
Have a great day !

Réponse: Punctuation marks/aide de lucile83, postée le 15-06-2013 à 19:11:57 (S | E)

Here is that test:
Lien internet

The answer in the correction is:
'Hello Isabel,' said Andrew. 'Did you go to the cinema yesterday?'
It is on a single line. You can't add a full stop after a question mark.

Your suggestion: 'Hello Isabel', said Andrew, 'did you go to the cinema yesterday?'.
sounds awkward to me because if you don't want to add a capital letter after Andrew, you should write:
'Hello Isabel, did you go to the cinema yesterday?' said Andrew.

Réponse: Punctuation marks/aide de tylegal, postée le 16-06-2013 à 12:23:27 (S | E)
Thank you all for these helpful responses.
It's clear for me now.
I'm a new by and I don't know if/how I can thank you all individually, so I do it here.

Réponse: Punctuation marks/aide de lucile83, postée le 16-06-2013 à 13:56:11 (S | E)

Thank you to let us know everything's clear.
Posting here is the best way for that; you were right to do so.


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