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Does written dialogue always have to use said, spat, screamed, etc?

Example: George looked at Harry, "I think we should be going."

Since George looked at Harry is a complete sentence, does this requirea period? Isn't it obvious that George is doing the talking or not?Emotion: smile
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Hi Pieface-- welcome to English Forums.

No, I don't think you can stretch it. George looked at Harry. 'I think we should be going', he said. I can suss that George is talking when it is stated this way, but I don't think a person can look a speech.

'Complete sentences' do not require a period; a semicolon can often substitute.
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Hi,

Does written dialogue always have to use said, spat, screamed, etc? No, not as long as it is obvious who is talking. Furthermore, a good writer shows the emotion in the dialogue itself, rather than just by telling us, via the verb, that the speaker was, for example, angry.

Tom sat beside Mary. 'I love you'. Is it obvious that Tom spoke? Well, Tom was the subject of the verb 'sit', so that makes us think it was Tom. But perhaps the earlier part of the story stressed that Tom didn't love Mary at all, and further told us that Mary was crazy about Tom. A good writer can make it obvious who is speaking.

Sometimes dialogue can just alternate, like this -

Tom said 'I love you' to Mary.

Mary replied 'I'm sorry, I prefer Fred'.

'Why?'

'Because he's rich.'

George looked at Harry, "I think we should be going." I wouldn't say a period is 100% necessary, but I'd probably put one.

Best wishes, Clive