How to Write Dialogues

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Why Write Dialogues

In order to provide context, sometimes single sentences are not enough.

Dialogues can also be used to show how non-sentences can be used as responses.

  • [#1431300] "Is he lying?" "Obviously."
  • [#5401699] "Can I join you?" "Sure."
  • [#6229650] "Who was there?" "Only Tom."
  • [#6446394] "How do you feel?" "Better."
  • [#4628683] "Are you tired?" "Not really."

Formatting Standards - Examples

English - Put each sentence in (double) quotes. We use "straight" quotes and not "curly" quotes on

"I caught a bad cold." "That's too bad."

Japanese - Put each sentence in quotes 「 」without 。 There is no additional space between these quotes 」「.


French. You should use « Sentence 1. » « Sentence 2. »

German. Use the following format: „Ich bin ganz stark erkältet.“ – „Das ist aber ärgerlich!“

The dash must be a dash (Alt + 0150), not a hyphen. It should ideally be preceded by a non-breaking space (Alt + 255). Alt codes for the opening and closing typographical quotation marks used in German are Alt + 0132 and Alt + 0147.

Others - (In Progress - Just Notes)

NOTE: Perhaps most languages that use the quote character ("), are using the same standard in the Tatoeba Corpus as English does. I've checked the following languages.


(No native speakers, but ...)

520 examples use this format. "SENTENCE_1" "SENTENCE_2"

184 examples use this format. "SENTENCE_1" - "SENTENCE_2"


193 examples by native speakers use "SENTENCE_1" "SENTENCE_2"

? examples by native speakers use "SENTENCE_1" - "SENTENCE_2" (I can't easily check RTL languages for this.)


606 examples by native speakers use "SENTENCE_1" "SENTENCE_2" (Same as English)

0 examples by native speakers use "SENTENCE_1" - "SENTENCE_2"


383 examples by native speakers use "SENTENCE_1" "SENTENCE_2" (Same as English)

6 examples by native speakers use "SENTENCE_1" - "SENTENCE_2"


This might be a good guide. However, the Tatoeba Corpus has adopted "straight" quotes as the standard rather than "curly" quotes.

French seems to use 2 different standards.


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