Page 6 of 9 FirstFirst ... 45678 ... LastLast
Results 51 to 60 of 83

Thread: Grammar, Capitalisation, Canon issues, etc

  1. #51
    Inverarity
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Padfoot Patronus
    This will appear to be very non-HP, but it is from my story. I was wondering whether it should be 'His head is resting on the table' or 'He is resting his head on the table'.

    It's a little wow question for me, because I cannot decide which is better. This is the beginning of the sentence, and one another part follows after a semi-colon. I know it has to do with active and passive voice, depending whether I want to make 'head' or 'he' the subject. Which is good in first person narrative?

    First, this is not active vs. passive voice. Both of your examples use the active voice. Passive voice would be: "His head was rested on the table."

    As for which is better: as others have noted, it depends on what you want to emphasize. If your character is describing the scene, then the first one is more of an observation of what s/he sees. If your character is describing what the other person is doing (if, in fact, that other character is the current topic of the paragraph), then the second example makes the character more of an active participant in the scene, as opposed to something the narrator is observing and remarking upon.

    I think what follows the semi-colon makes a difference. I would recommend, for example:

    "His head is resting on the table; the room is dark and quiet."

    but:

    "He is resting his head on the table; he's obviously been up all night."

    However, this is very much up to your personal preference, since in any of the above examples, you could switch phrases without it sounding wrong.

  2. #52
    Wizengamot Hufflepuff
    Kill the Spare
    Equinox Chick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    using rare and complicated words
    Posts
    2,979
    I think it's lowercase because JKR didn't make it up.

    Plus Remus calls himself a werewolf and not a Werewolf.
    I'm a BARMAID. I write. I drabble. I duel. I poet. I'm a BADGER!!!

    Banner by minnabird

  3. #53
    Fourth Year Hufflepuff
    McGonagall Likes My Quidditch Skills
    Padfoot Patronus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Elvendork
    Posts
    151
    Capitalisation question: lycanthropy or Lycanthropy?

    -Akay


    "Same story, different versions, and all are true."
    - Tia Dalma, Pirates of the Caribbean II




    Lovely banner by ze bean and avatar from the brilliant
    LJ home of mrserinreynolds


    deviantART page here

  4. #54
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Lockhart Removed My Bones!
    welshdevondragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    London/ Newcastle
    Posts
    593
    I've tried searching for this but can't find anyone asking about it before so:

    If you have someone speak, and then some information within the same paragraph, but end with a dialogue tag introducing someone else speaking then how should you punctuate it.

    Like, for example:

    "How are your roses doing?" John said, handing Frida the watering can as she replied,

    "Very well."
    So would you use a comma after replied? Or a colon? Or would you just have to have the clause about the watering can as a separate sentence and start a new paragraph with that?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
    Banner by Minna.

  5. #55
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Earning Points for Sheer Dumb Luck
    obsessed_with_jo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    174
    Quote Originally Posted by welshdevondragon
    I've tried searching for this but can't find anyone asking about it before so:

    If you have someone speak, and then some information within the same paragraph, but end with a dialogue tag introducing someone else speaking then how should you punctuate it.

    Like, for example:

    "How are your roses doing?" John said, handing Frida the watering can as she replied,

    "Very well."
    So would you use a comma after replied? Or a colon? Or would you just have to have the clause about the watering can as a separate sentence and start a new paragraph with that?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.
    I would say: "How are your roses doing?" John said, handing Frida the watering can as she replied, "Very well."

    However, I think this is either an odd example or you might want to rethink the structure of the sentence. I would try to avoid having two different characters speak in the same sentence, because it makes the order of events very confusing. The sentence reads as John saying "How are your roses doing?", John handing Frida the watering can, and Frida replying, "Very well," all at the same time. I would say something more like this:

    "How are your roses doing?" John said.

    "Very well," Frida replied as John handed her the watering can.
    Eliza

  6. #56
    Inverarity
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Padfoot Patronus
    Capitalisation question: lycanthropy or Lycanthropy?
    Pretty sure it's not capitalized in the books, and grammatically, it shouldn't be.


    Quote Originally Posted by welshdevondragon
    I've tried searching for this but can't find anyone asking about it before so:

    If you have someone speak, and then some information within the same paragraph, but end with a dialogue tag introducing someone else speaking then how should you punctuate it.
    Generally speaking, you shouldn't. Having two speakers in one paragraph is bad style. A new line of dialog from a new speaker should start a new paragraph.

  7. #57
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Lockhart Removed My Bones!
    welshdevondragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    London/ Newcastle
    Posts
    593
    Thanks Inverarity and obsessed_with_jo. I know it was a weird example but I had just realised that I use this several times in the climax of a story I'm writing, and did not want to use the actual examples as they'd give away basically the end to a sequel which isn't even up yet. I'll try and avoid it.

    Here's another question, although maybe it does not belong here. I know we're not supposed to use "But" at the beginning of a sentence but I don't actually know why. I mean I use it in normal speech all the time, to the extent that even if it is not technically grammatically correct just purely out of popular usage it is becoming so. Also why can we use "however", which essentially means the same thing (at least in the context I most often use it) at the start of a sentence but not "but"? This has been bothering me for a while, so if anyone knows the answer that would be great!

    Alex x
    Banner by Minna.

  8. #58
    Inverarity
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by welshdevondragon
    Here's another question, although maybe it does not belong here. I know we're not supposed to use "But" at the beginning of a sentence but I don't actually know why. I mean I use it in normal speech all the time, to the extent that even if it is not technically grammatically correct just purely out of popular usage it is becoming so. Also why can we use "however", which essentially means the same thing (at least in the context I most often use it) at the start of a sentence but not "but"? This has been bothering me for a while, so if anyone knows the answer that would be great!

    You must have been taught that by an old English teacher who hasn't read anything about grammar or linguistics since she graduated from college. It's horrible that people are still being taught that ridiculous "Don't begin a sentence with a conjunction" rule -- it's right up there with "Thou shalt not end a sentence with a preposition" (which is also nonsense).

    There is nothing grammatically wrong with beginning a sentence with 'And,' 'But,' 'Or,' or 'However.' Garner's Modern American Usage actually recommends using 'But' in preference to 'However' in most cases.

    The problem is that it's often considered bad style to begin a sentence with those words. Whether it actually is bad style depends on circumstances; Garner's goes into more detail on when it's appropriate (in his opinion) to use 'However' and other such words at the beginning of a sentence. The bottom line is, it's not wrong, it just might not be the most elegant way to construct a sentence.

    Also, don't rely too much on what grammar teachers tell you. And even Strunk and White and Garner's are not gospel.

  9. #59
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
    Lockhart Removed My Bones!
    welshdevondragon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    London/ Newcastle
    Posts
    593
    Thanks Inverarity- that makes sense.

    I seem to be invading this page, but this is a question which my betas seem to have different opinions on, so I just want to see what others think and work out which is more common/ which one MNFF prefers.

    When you have action interrupting speech, but it is not a dialogue tag, is it capitalised or not?

    e.g "I'm going to read," He looked at the shelf and picked a book out, "this novel."

    I always thought the "He" was capitalised, but some people say it isn't. So yes, which does MNFF prefer/ which one is grammatically accurate? This may be a British/ American thing but I'm not sure.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Alex x
    Banner by Minna.

  10. #60
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
    Earning Points for Sheer Dumb Luck
    obsessed_with_jo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    174
    Quote Originally Posted by welshdevondragon
    Thanks Inverarity- that makes sense.

    I seem to be invading this page, but this is a question which my betas seem to have different opinions on, so I just want to see what others think and work out which is more common/ which one MNFF prefers.

    When you have action interrupting speech, but it is not a dialogue tag, is it capitalised or not?

    e.g "I'm going to read," He looked at the shelf and picked a book out, "this novel."

    I always thought the "He" was capitalised, but some people say it isn't. So yes, which does MNFF prefer/ which one is grammatically accurate? This may be a British/ American thing but I'm not sure.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Alex x
    That example just seems super grammatically incorrect to me. You don't ever capitalize the pronoun after a comma in dialogue. As an example, it's always: "Hello," he said, rather than "Hello," He said. However, your example feels strange because you aren't using a dialogue tag (he said, she said, etc.), so there shouldn't be a comma after "read" anyway. The narration breaks up the dialogue in a strange way, which I think is more problematic than the actual grammar of the sentence (although this may just be the example you're using).

    I would do something more like this:

    "I'm going to read...." He looked at the shelf and picked a book out. "This one."

    Hopefully some of that made sense. Basically, you shouldn't be using comma after dialogue if the dialogue is followed by an unrelated action (He looked at the shelf) rather than a dialogue tag (he said).
    Eliza

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •