Direct Speech: bee-eater
The Grammar Bit!
Read the conversation between Bert and Beatrix in the scintillating sentences section opposite. The passage uses direct speech to show the actual words spoken by the two characters.
With your talk partner, investigate the passage to see if the following rules have been followed.
Direct Speech Rules
- The spoken words are enclosed by inverted commas (or speech marks).
- A reporting clause can be used at the beginning or end of the spoken words. e.g. (end) said Bert excitedly.
- A comma, question mark or exclamation mark is placed inside the closing inverted comma.
- A capital letter is used at the beginning of the spoken words (unless it is part of sentence that has been interrupted by a reporting clause).
- A new line should be started when there is a change of speaker.
On a perch, somewhere in Botswana, two hungry bee-eaters were thinking about their dinner.
“This stretch of grassland is full of tasty morsels!” said Bert excitedly.
“So I’ve heard, but how will we flush them out?” sighed Beatrix, who was still feeling cross with herself for being stung by a bee the previous day.
Turning his emerald-capped head in his friend’s direction, Bert announced proudly, “I’ve heard that bull elephants are the best flushers in Africa.”
Did you know?
Carmine bee-eaters are often drawn to bushfires. They will circle high above the flames, swooping down to catch any insects trying to flee the burning undergrowth.