Where would I insert an exclamation mark and a comma in the below sentence?

"Look at that boy" he exclaimed.

  • Where do you think an exclamation mark, which is a punctuation mark usually at the end of a sentence, should be placed? Also, do you feel you need to separate anything in this very short sentence from the rest? – Korvin Mar 24 '17 at 8:12
  • Isn't there a comma usually after a direct speech? – user51621 Mar 24 '17 at 8:21
  • Not necessarily. Also there are differences between the recommendations of AmE and BrE, for example BrE recommends the usage of the single inverted comma instead of the double. But if you end the quotation with an exclamation mark (which is part of the quotation), there's no need for a comma anyway. – Korvin Mar 24 '17 at 8:28
  • Thanks for your help. Will 'H' get capitalised in 'he' if there is an exclamation mark before it? Although, I do understand that 'he' is not immediately after the exclamation mark. The closing quote is between the exclamation mark and 'he'. – user51621 Mar 24 '17 at 8:37

According to Oxford, you can add the exclamation mark if you want to express that the "speech" is shouted or spoken loudly. I believe that it can emerge a drammatic effect in your writing. But if you consider it as a plain command, just use a period.

Regarding the comma, it should be inserted in the closing quotation marks(I have no references for this, but I read lots of novels, and they do so).

But don't use two punctuations in a row.

"Look at the boy!," she exclaimed" is wrong.

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  • Thanks. But the Oxford link that you have forwarded has an example where no comma is inserted. The example is almost like the sentence that I have requested help on. – user51621 Mar 24 '17 at 9:03
  • @user51621 You mean it should be "xxxx!," she exclaimed. That would be an error. – user178049 Mar 24 '17 at 9:29

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