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If I quote what a person says and use "she said" after the speech, do I have to state that again if I add another part of the speech after "she said"?

For example:

"It's a beautiful day to walk in the park," she said. "The sun is shining and I feel energetic."

Please tell me I don't have to write "she said" again at the end when it's understood that she is still talking.

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  • It isn't a 'quote' - you are not quoting the words of another writer. It is a line of dialogue. Nov 14, 2023 at 10:33
  • What's more is that "she said" isn't a "citation" but a dialogue (or speech) tag. A "citation" is something that is only used in academic writing (which itself may also use attribution tags).
    – Laurel
    Nov 14, 2023 at 15:50
  • 2
    Does this answer your question? How to/when to tag quoted text in a dialogue
    – EDL
    Nov 14, 2023 at 20:51

2 Answers 2

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In ficion today, we add she said and similar dialogue tags only when it is unclear who is speaking. Otherwise we avoid them.

Turntaking (that is, when the speaker changes) is signalled by a paragraph break, e.g.:

"What are you talking about?" Peter asked.
"Nothing," John replied.
"Then shut up." ← Peter again
"Okay." ← John

All the dialogue in one paragraph is by one speaker:

     "What are you talking about?" Peter asked. "I don't understand you." He turned away from the window and walked over to his brother, who sat with his head in his hands. Peter shook him violently. "Answer me!" ← all of this is spoken by Peter
     John remained silent.
     "You disgust me." ← Peter again

After several turns, you may need to remind your readers who is talking. Also, you may want to add descriptions of what people do while they are talking or how people speak, e.g.:

"What are you talking about?" Peter slowly turned away from the window.
"Nothing," John replied sullenly.

This will make your dialogue more interesting and less monotonous as pure dialogue (without any speech tags) or repetitions of he said / she said.

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In any dialog, you have to ensure that the reader knows who said what. There are, however, three ways to ensure that.

  • Explicitly, attributing it to the speaker: "It's going to rain," she said.
  • Implicitly, associating it with the speaker: He shrugged. "I'm just going to have to get wet then."
  • Implicitly, by its position in the exchange: "There's no reason why it can't be done tomorrow, when it's dry." (Since he and she are talking back and forth, it's "she" -- also it's her side of the argument.)

Sticking to one for too long will produce a tedious pattern, so not only is not required to use it, liveliness of prose may require changing.

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