5

I would like to know how to forge this sentence so that it can convey what I want to express with it.

The teenager couldn't help asking him.

"Where did you meet this Frank?" Asked the teenager.

Is it good to use the verb "ask" twice like this in the example above?

  • 4
    How about simply: The teenager couldn't help asking him, "Where did you meet this Frank?" – Jojodmo Jan 25 '17 at 4:14
  • Note that "Asked" should be "asked", as it is in the middle of a sentence and not at the start (and not a proper noun, the pronoun I, etc.). – deltab Jan 25 '17 at 16:57
4

Maybe you could say it like this:

The teenager couldn't help asking him.

"Where did you meet this Frank?" Inquired his young customer curiously.

Repeating words it's not good and you should avoid it as much as possible. But it depends, if you're writing something informal don't be too concerned. If it's formal, or a story, you should try to put different words. A dictionary of synonyms could help a lot.

  • 3
    I'd be careful of synonyms though. It is better to find another way to express your idea. Not saying your example is bad, though. Link:Writer's Digest – WRX Jan 24 '17 at 16:18
  • 7
    This is very unnatural. A native speaker wouldn't speak like that. – Rob K Jan 24 '17 at 20:30
  • The phrase sounds unnatural if spoken; however, OP may be writing. – Speerian Jan 25 '17 at 14:21
33

I think this version works fine:

The teenager couldn't help asking him, "Where did you meet this Frank?"

There's no need to add something like he asked at the end of the sentence, because the text before the quote makes it clear who is talking.

  • 6
    I find this answer far better and more natural sounding than the accepted answer. This looks like something I would read in a book, while the other answer sounds excessive and a little weird. – ell Jan 24 '17 at 22:48
5

The teenager couldn't help asking him.

"Where did you meet this Frank?" Asked his young customer curiously.

I would say yes, but would write it like this:

The curious teenager could not help asking the store manager, "Where did you meet Frank?"

You could add more to make certain that the reader knows the young person is a customer, but it is too much in one sentence.

You could add something like:

The manager smiled at his young customer and answered, "I met him at your football game, the same day I met you."

If by "this" you are trying to convey that you are suspicious of Frank, then again you need to put that in context.

The curious teenager could not help asking the store manager, "Where did you meet Frank? He's strange."

  • The curious teenager could not help asking the store manager. "Where did you meet Frank? He's strange." Should I write the part between the apostrophes in a new line? – Ryepower Jan 24 '17 at 16:06
  • @Ryepower Ours will not be the only answers. There are people here who truly understand the grammar and can explain it to you far better than I did. You can always remove your acceptance of an answer and accept it later, once more people have had the opportunity to help. You can even accept the answer you already chose. It just works better to let others answer first. – WRX Jan 24 '17 at 16:09
  • @Ryepower The dialogue can be on the same line if the line concerns the dialogue. The only time dialogue goes to the next line is when the speaker is talking in paragraphs or there is a new speaker. That is a good question, btw. Ask it as a separate one. You will get better explanations from people who understand grammar. – WRX Jan 24 '17 at 16:16
2

The way you have written it is very stilted and unnatural. It should be

The teenager couldn't help asking him "Where did you meet this Frank?"

Alternately, you could phrase it as

"Where did you meet this Frank?" the teenager couldn't help but ask.

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