Writing Tip: Dialogue Tag DOs and DON’Ts

Some good examples with dialog tags.

Michelle Proulx -- The Website

Today we’re talking about dialogue tags! I already rambled about them in a previous post, but I’m going to ramble some more about them now, so prepare yourself.

What is a dialogue tag?

It’s the short phrase you stick after a line of dialogue — i.e., “he said”, “she said”, etc.

Simple dialogue tag

Observe the following sentence:

“I love your socks,” he said.

That’s a simple dialogue tag — sentence of dialogue, followed by a dialogue tag. Here are some more:

“Your face is on fire!” she said.

“Are you sure?” he said.


  • You have to use a punctuation mark at the end of the sentence of dialogue that’s not a period — i.e., comma (most common), question mark (for questions), exclamation mark (for excitement!) — Using a period is effectively ending the sentence, so if you put a period after “I love your socks”, you’re ending…

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