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Guidelines for writing Poems, Stories and Tales

Writing dialogue, present or past tense “said”

You write your dialogue using present tenses and change the dialogue tag to she says, he says. While past tense dialogue is the most common, it’s up to you which one you use. There is an extra possibility when you use reported speech within your dialogue. This form incorporates the use of the past perfect.

Should you use said in dialogue?

Debunking Writing Myths: Always/Never Use “Said” Dialogue Tags. Never use a “said” dialogue tag. / The only dialogue tag you should ever use is “said.” Like anything else in writing, overuse of anything is lazy writing and can frustrate readers (and editors).

Can you use said in present tense?

The differences between “says” and “said” is in the tenses that they are used. “Says” is used with the present tense, and “said” is used with the past tense. The main word is “say.” The present tense is “says,” the past is “said,” and the future tense is “will say.”

How do you write said in present tense?

Standard dialogue tags use the verb “said” (or “says” in present tense narration) along with the name of the speaker. For instance, “John said,” “said Mary,” “I said,” or “she said.”

How do you use past tense in dialogue?

Quote from video: The simple past as a verb tense that is used to talk about things that happened or existed before now often we specify when something happened yesterday three weeks ago last year when I was young.

What is the past tense of said?


The past tense of say is said Present Tense: Say Past Tense: Said Past Participle: Said Present Participle: Saying Past Participle: Said What she said was fair comment . He said he wanted to go to town. The past tense of say is said; No promise, only said not over of lies.

How do you write dialogue in tenses?

Writing tense dialogue: 5 ways to add arresting tension

  1. Keep exchanges short and curt. When two characters are in a verbal sparring match, one may have the occasional, long-winded outburst. …
  2. Use contradiction. …
  3. Narrate tense actions mid-dialogue. …
  4. Use interruptions. …
  5. Make the speaker’s tone tense.

What tense is it is said?

past tense

The word said is the past tense of the verb “say,” but it can also be used as an adjective to refer to something that has been previously introduced.

What tense is have said?

Perfect tenses

present perfect
I have said
you have said
he, she, it has said
we have said

What tense is has said?

The verb is “has said.” it’s “say” in the present perfect tense. “Has” is the auxiliary verb, and it’s a finite verb, that is, it has a tense of its own. In this sentence it’s in the present tense.

Why does putting dialogue in the present tense make sense?

It creates a sense of immediacy: Writing in the present tense makes it feel as though the events of the novel are happening in real time. This can help the reader feel an immediate connection to a first person narrator, since we witness the life events and emotional transformations of the POV character as they happen.

How do you write dialogue in English examples?

Example of a dialogue tag before dialogue: Ken said, “That sunset is incredible!” Example of a dialogue tag after dialogue: “I prefer sunrises,” Joe replied. Example of dialogue tag breaking up dialogue: “If you want to see a sunrise,” Ken said, “we can go hiking in the morning next time.”

What tense is it is said?

past tense

The word said is the past tense of the verb “say,” but it can also be used as an adjective to refer to something that has been previously introduced.

How do you use said in a sentence?

[M] [T] Mary said she was going to dance all night. [M] [T] She believed him when he said he loved her. [M] [T] She said nothing that would make him angry. [M] [T] He said he would write to me, but he hasn’t.

Did you say or said?

Both are correct, but it depends on your context. Did you just say that? is a past tense and implies that the speaker is concerned about the event in the past (even if it was only ten seconds ago) Have you just said that? on the other hand, is a present tense.

What is said form?

adj. 1 prenominal (in contracts, pleadings, etc.) named or mentioned previously; aforesaid.

What is the first form of said?

Verb Forms of Say

(Base) 1st (Past) 2nd (Past Participle) 3rd
Say Said Said
Get list of more Verb Forms.

Is said singular?

It is singular.

“What did she say?” is correct, because proper grammar dictates that in an interrogative sentence the infinitive form of the verb follows the auxiliary verb “to do” (or, in this instance, the preterite form “did”) rather than the past participle “said.”