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General Writing and Grammar Help/a cap after a question mark?


Hey Ms. Balliett,

First, I love the pic of the pair of boxers.  My better half and I also have a two boxers sisters!  They are the sweetest little girls, they are so entertaining and a true joy to have around.

My question is about the question mark.  I'm a novelist, and my wife copyedits my work.  On the following sentence, she has me change, 'The' to lower case :  "Vance, where the heck did you learn to shoot like that?"  The president asked.  I have always thought that after a question mark you start a new sentence.  She says, "no, it's still the same sentence."  So she wants me to change,  shoot like that?" the president asked.  If feels wrong to me.  Can you give a bit of clarification to my dilemma?   Do I put a lower case after the question mark or capitalize it as if it were a new sentence?

I hope you can clear this up for me.  Thank-you for your time and consideration.

All the Best,

J. D. Lowes

J.D., she is absolutely correct.

It should be:

"Vance, where the heck did you learn to shoot like that?"  the president asked.

When you write dialogue, the dialogue is followed (if using 'the asked or he said') by a question mark for a question or a comma for a statement.


"Vance, you shoot good," he said.

"Vance, where did you learn to shoot like that?" he asked. (in yours it was 'the president asked.')

"You really shoot good, Vance," he told him.

"Vance, you surprise me. You shoot really good," the president said.

You can see examples of my pending novels at for your reference.  

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Jannie Balliett


Any question relating to writing and grammar. I will repeat, questions only-- not discussions or editing. If you need editing, visit my editorial site; I do not help with homework nor English classes. This is much too involved and I will not "explain" English to non-English speakers. Please rate. If you do not rate, I will need to ban you from my expertise.


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