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Bernards Heath Junior School

'Knowing Every Child'

GAPS - Using speech

Using speech in a narrative


When writing a story, we need to include some speech to show the relationship between our characters. It helps to reveal our characters’ feelings and personality as they react to events. Too much speech will slow the story down.


Revision of the rules of speech:

Rule 1 – Start a new paragraph every time someone new speaks.

Rule 2 – Speech marks are placed around the words spoken.

Rule 3 – Punctuation always goes inside the closing speech marks.

               E.g.       “How are you?” asked Nisha.

                             “I’m fine,” Tom replied.

Rule 4 – If “said” (or a word that means ‘said’) is written before the speech, use a comma and a capital letter.

               E.g.     Nisha asked, “How are you?”

Rule 5 – If you write two sentences of speech separated by who is speaking, start both with a capital letter.

               E.g.    “It’s a lovely sunny day,” said Nisha. “Shall we go to the splash park?”

Rule 6 - If the speech is a single sentence separated by who is talking, use a comma and a small letter to begin the second part of the speech.

               E.g.    "Let’s go,” replied Tom, “before it gets too crowded.”


Watch this BBC Bitesize video to help explain it further.


Task 1

Rewrite this correctly:

Would you like to come to my house? said Harry. Yes please, I would love to, replied Jamila. Can I come too? asked Alex. Of course you can, said Harry. The more the merrier.



Task 2

Put the correct punctuation into this story taken from Sophie’s Tom by Dick King Smith:

           By now Sophie was used to the fact that her birthday was on

           Christmas Day.  The twins, who had been born in spring, felt rather

           sorry for her.

           Poor old Sophie said Matthew being born then

           Hard luck on her said Mark glad we weren’t

           But Sophie didn’t mind.

           It’s twice as nice she said when anyone asked how she felt about it

           everybody gives me two presents



Task 3
Make up a short conversation between two or three people and punctuate it correctly.