Writing in Spanish

What are the Rules of Dialogue Writing in Spanish

Do you know how to write dialogues in Spanish? Learning how an interaction dialogue works in Spanish is crucial for it to be read fluently and accurately.

The rules for writing dialogues generate doubts and, if we look closely, they are one of the most important parts of stories. Interviews, articles, novels, film scripts, etc., we can find this type of communication exchange very frequently day after day.

What is a Dialogue?

A dialogue is a type of communication between two or more people. It is an essential part of human interaction and, therefore, writing dialogues correctly will allow us to share thoughts, ideas or conversations, among others.

Keep reading to learn the basics about simple dialogues in Spanish, because, yeah, they can be complicated sometimes.

Different Parts of a Dialogue

When we talk about writing dialogues in Spanish, most of the time we are referring to literary dialogue. In this type of dialogue, we can distinguish two parts:

Parlamento: It indicates the speech of each character:

—Oye, Marisa —dijo Enrique enfadado antes de irse.

(“Hey, Marisa – said Enrique angrily before leaving.)

Acotación: This is also called an inciso (parenthetical remark) and it clarifies who is speaking, where and how, among other things.

—Oye, Marisa —dijo Enrique enfadado antes de irse.

Remember that the parlamentos may or may not have an acotación.

The Dash in Spanish Dialogues

When it comes to the punctuation marks in dialogues, the dash or long dash takes centre stage, as it introduces the dialogue:

—Ven, Marcos —dijo Sergio—. Quiero darte el regalo.

(“Come, Marcos, said Sergio. I want to give you the gift.)

It is written next to the word that follows it. Also, as you can see in the example, it is used whenever there is a pause for clarification with verbs of speech, understanding or thought.

Use a dash for each speech of different characters.

In the example above, you can also appreciate that the punctuation mark that accompanies the sentence goes right at the end of the clause, again, attached to the dash.

One last little trick, if the acotación is a non-verbal thought, use the Latin quotation marks in another sentence to express it:

—Margarita va a llegar tarde.

«Deberíamos comenzar la fiesta sin ella…», pensó Jacinto.

(“Margarita is going to be late.

“We should start the party without her…”, Jacinto thought.)

Be Patient!

Nobody said typing was easy and writing Spanish dialogues correctly takes time. I say this because the dash does not appear on the Spanish keyboard, you will have to insert it as a symbol or search for “raya” in a browser to copy and paste it.

We recommend that you practice, repeatedly, until you internalise these rules. The more you write, the sooner you will apply the rule automatically. iScribo corrects your Spanish in real time so you don’t have to waste time going over what you write more than once. Have you tried it yet? Tell us about it in the comments.

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