Indirect speech is speech describing what someone has said without using a direct quote.

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Why is my sentence incorrect? [closed]

My solution: Jake told me yesterday that he was going to the party at Helen’s house the week before. The teacher's solution: Jake told me yesterday that he had gone to the party at Helen’s house the ...
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Passive/ active statement- specific question

Why don't you come this evening? She ________________ that evening [SUGGESTED] The answer is: suggested coming/that I/we come Why can't it be: 'suggested I came'- because the passive tense changes ...
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Reported Speech: preference for using that after say/tell

A student of mine has stated (based on her experience watching films and TV shows) that, when using Reported Speech, Americans will more often use 'he said that X' or 'he told us that X' whereas ...
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A bit confused! does indirect speech apply to other verbs such as “think”, “hope”,.. instead of “say”?

Ok, I am not native speaker & all my knowledge normally came from textbook. When teacher teaches Indirect speech at school, they often use the verb "say". For example: Direct speech: It is ...
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Why exactly is this sentence the way it is?

I couldn't explain it in the title, my apologies. Now the sentence, in indirect-speech: Anne asked me who my favourite actor was I know this sentence is correct, but WHY isn't it the following? ...
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Converting direct speech to indirect speech

Please tell me what will be the indirect-speech form of this sentence: The boys shouted, "Don Bosco Public School well played?" The question mark confuses me. Here is the original question:     ...
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“Any” or “some” in indirect questions

If we want to report a question with any, e.g. "Is there any milk in the bottle?", it becomes "if there was milk in the bottle", technically it isn't a question any more. So, should we say "some milk" ...
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When do I have license to use the present tense in a *past* narration?

I am narrating a past series of events; of course, all the verbs are in the past tense. One verb, however, signifies an action that will be complete long after (years after) the moment of narration (...
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Why was the indirect speech not used in the following sentence?

The witness said that he heard two bullets being shot before he noticed two men running down the street The sentence contains both, reported speech and sequel of actions. Therefore I believe that ...
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25 views

Do I have to backshift If the thing that's being reported is still true? (Reported speech) [duplicate]

I'm sorry if somebody has already posted this message, I just don't know what to type in order to find it. "I'm sick" - He told me that he's sick. <--- Is this correct if we know that he is indeed ...
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58 views

from direct to indirect speech

Change this into 'indirect speech': He said, "I had a grandpa who died when he was ninety-seven." Which is right? 1) He said (that) he had had a grandpa who had died when he had been ninety-seven. or ...
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207 views

Do we use the present or the past after “when” in a conditional sentence?

He said we would get married when we get older. or He said we would get married when we got older. Which tense of the verb get should be used?
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First Conditional reported speech [closed]

If you want to come, call me before 5:00. Which one is correct? He said if I want to come to call him before 5:00. or He said if I want to come I will call him before 5:00.
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Mixing past and present tense

Today while reading the newspaper I found two sentences with the opposite pattern of tense usage. Sentence 1 (Indirect speech) : A senior police officer said that the cumulative rents paid for some ...
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514 views

Converting impersonal reporting verbs from active to passive

I have a question regarding impersonal reporting structures. The task is to complete the second sentence beginning with Bob as a subject so that it has the same meaning as the first sentence: ...
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Introducing reported speech- has said/ said

Please consider the following sentences: Jane Smith has said her son cries when she comes back home. Jane Smith said her son cries when she comes back home. Dave Bloggs has told me what ...
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“Which verb to use in a reporting clause?”

Direct: he said, “It used to be a lovely quiet street.” Indirect: he said that it used to be a lovely quiet street. Why is it not: He pointed out that it had used to be a lovely quiet street.
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Are 'third person singular pronouns' optional?

I took a English test in a non-English speaking country. There was a problem with a picture. In the picture, a girl whose name is Ann says, My knife doesn't cut well. The question asked: "What ...
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Present perfect vs. Past perfect tense used in newspaper story [closed]

I've been asking a lot about backshifting of tenses for quite some time and I have come across many articles/blogs where this so-called rule is not always followed unlike notable grammar books. For ...
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Tense backshift in reported speech [duplicate]

My question arose in an English lesson. Is it necessary to apply the backshift in reported speech? For example: Jon: "I go home." Mary to Henry: "What did Jon say?" Henry: "Jon said that he ...
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correct usage - using was/am with “said” [duplicate]

Which one is correct: My manager told me that I was not doing great at work. or My manager told me that I am not doing great at work.
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Grammatical Consistency for Book Text

I recently came across text from a book a good friend of mine was tasked with proofreading. The book, a translation, which detailed the past exploits of a military division (whose members the author ...
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Reporting a questions in past tense where the wh- clause replaces the subject

How do I report this question, or any question with a form as described in the title in past tense, like the sentence below: Question: "Who did that?" Reported form: "He asked _____ ."
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Past continuous reporting verb in indirect speech [duplicate]

In indirect speech if the reporting verb is in past tense, then the verb in subordinate clause will also be in past tense. Ex- He said that he was going to see movie. What tense will be used in ...
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759 views

would come vs. would have come?

Which is the difference between the following constructions? He told me that he would come. (would + base form = present conditional) He told me that he would have come. (would + have + past ...
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When is “backshifting” optional?

In reported speech, tenses are generally backshifted. If what was said is still true at the time of reporting then back shifting is optional. My question is, if someone doesn't backshift the tense ...
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Reported speech: why is the past perfect the right answer here?

Please help me to find out the right answer. He said that they ______ each other for many years. a) know b) have known c) knew d) had known In the book I referred the right ...
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Simpler english by pronunciation

I'm into computer science. My question is more relevant to making computers "understand" english. However, I would like to make english simpler, even for/by pronunciation. It may sound... redundant/...
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“I'm not sure what's true love” vs. “I'm not sure what true love is”

Are all these sentences grammatically correct? Which ones are more common? "I'm not sure what's true love" vs. "I'm not sure what true love is" "I don't know who's your brother" vs. "I don't know ...
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369 views

“you” in spoken, quoted dialogue

My partner and I have been having a debate about the proper way of relating dialogue in spoken English. Our problem is as follows: It often happens in conversation that one wishes to relate a ...
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…is/was in debt [closed]

I'm really sorry to put the same question through. Let's say I'm narrating a past incident in which one of the sentence is -- "There was a rumor that Citibank is in debt." I'm aware that here 'is' ...
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what is time reference of a verb

In indirect speech if the time reference has not changed then the tenses are not back shifted. Randolph Quirk, in A Comprehensive Grammar of The English Language states Backshift is optional when ...
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optional backshifting criterion in non reported speech [duplicate]

In an indirect speech back shifting of tense is optional if what is said is still true. For example -- Kate said that she is not well. ( Here non change in tense because Kate is still not well at the ...
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What tense should be used when present/past perfect is used?

Here is my sentence of which I am having some troubles ascertaining the grammatical correctness: I think that Rachel has told Brady that Bert would admit to the judge what he has taught about ...
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sentence structure and sequence of tense

In sentence structure of indirect speech like - (He said +........... , He informed +....... , He claimed + .......... ), I am aware that if the situation is still relevant then back shifting of ...
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285 views

sequence of tenses (optional and obligatory back shifting )

Consider a sentence: 1) The president learned that the earthquake has caused havoc all across the country. Here present perfect tense is used. First tell me is it correct to use 'has caused' ? ...
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present perfect vs past perfect [closed]

What's the difference between the following examples: I noticed that the clock had stopped. I noticed that the clock has stopped. Some of them say that if the emphasis is laid on the ...
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reported speech in news articles [duplicate]

In reported speech we generally back shift the tense. But why in news articles I often see that this guideline is violated ? For example ...
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Different form of reported speech [duplicate]

In indirect speech we generally backshift the tense. For ex - Direct speech : "I am the most powerful person." Indirect speech : "He said that he was the most powerful person." What if someone ...
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I asked if he speaks/spoke English

I asked if he speaks English I asked if he spoke English Speak or spoke? Colloquially, is it correct to say speaks?
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I asked + present/past tense

Consider the examples: "My name is Ricky." He said his name is Ricky. The tense is not backshifted in #2 because his name is and will always be Ricky. Also consider: Ricky says: "I live in ...
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Sequence of tenses in reported speech [duplicate]

I've found it in a book and assume it's got to be correct, but I cannot understand why the Past Perfect of I had been offered. Would was offered not have been clearer? I explained that when I was in ...
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What will be the word order in converting this to reported speech? [duplicate]

We need to convert the following to reported speech: Why have you taken a room on the tenth floor? I am confused about the word order. Should it be He asked her why she had taken a room on ...
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390 views

reporting past simple tense [closed]

Choose: He said that while he was watching television, the light (went/had gone) out. Some people say that past simple tense doesn't change in indirect speech, but my teacher says that the direct ...
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167 views

verb tense in reported speech

I told Cindy we would not be able to eat American Chinese food again for a couple of years, once we moved to Shanghai. I told Cindy we would not be able to eat American Chinese food again for a ...
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200 views

Direct speech to reported speech with Hush! [closed]

Please change the sentence from direct speech to reported speech. I cannot solve this problem. Can anyone solve this? He said, "HUSH! The headmaster is coming."
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244 views

Capitalization in direct speech without quotation marks

My question has been largely answered in the discussion linked to below. However, one question remains: in mid-sentence hypothetical direct speech without quotation marks, what is preferable ...
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703 views

Present tense and conditional tense in a stated past tense

I have a question about using past and conditional tenses in a context that refers to something told in the past. I think I’ve seen both forms used in films/books, etc., but I'm not sure about it ...
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She may have reasoned that it 'would have been' against her own economic self interest

She may have reasoned that it would have been against her own economic self interest to disclose the worst case scenario Source My question is: In this sentence why are we using "would have been" ...
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Reported speech in Minute taking

I have to take minutes of a meeting, but I am quite confused at the moment. Here are some sentences which got me confused: ''Mr Johnson: Latin America and Asia produce the same products, so I suggest ...