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

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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 ...
6
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1answer
563 views

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" ...
6
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2answers
334 views

Indirect speech for “Was there a chair there at the last lesson”

Could you please to help me with translating it to indirect speach: "Was there a chair there at the last lesson?" This exercise is from "Get your tenses right" by Ronald Barnes, and I have doubts ...
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608 views

Can I use the word “must” in subjunctive mood?

I'm a student in China. Our English exam has a grammar item. 54.My boss ordered that the legal documents __ to him before lunch. A.be sent B.were sent C.were to be sent D.must be ...
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5answers
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Do tenses in a time clause never back-shift in reported speech?

Do tenses in a time clause never back-shift in reported speech? For example, does "I went to Italy when I finished school." become She said she had gone to Spain when she finished school....
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Question about tenses used in Seinfeld show: “what you were doing tomorrow night”

In the sentences "Did she even ask you what you were doing tomorrow night? If you were busy?" occurring at about 0:42 - 0:43 in this clip, why was past tense used in "What you were doing ...
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1k views

Indirect, quoted speech: He's all

What does it mean, when someone is alluding to quoted speech, and says to be all something? Is this just slang? For example: "I'm all.. I don't think I'm gonna go". "And he's all.. I think you ...
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2answers
547 views

Direct to Reported Speech - a scenario of ambiguity [duplicate]

The question is: How would one convert He said, "My name is Harry" to reported speech? Rules do say that the converted sentence reads He said that his name was Harry. The factor causing ...
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Conversion to reported speech with multiple events

Which of the following is the correct conversion to reported speech? Ms. A said: “She gave up on the justice system and on the government. That's why she committed suicide.” Ms. A said ...
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1answer
2k views

Reported Speech “Will” vs “Would”

I recently got confused with the following choices while talking to a friend after class: I sent her an email that I wouldn't come to the class. I sent her an email that I wouldn't be coming ...
3
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1answer
367 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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1answer
488 views

Reported Speech

I am correcting a reported speech test. I am more than familiar with the backshifts and exceptions. However, I would need some help to see if I can accept these two reports: "We can't protect our ...
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188 views

“Would” in a reported statement

I am teaching some students changing original quotes into reported speech. Well, one of my students asked how the following quote can be changed into reported speech: I would like to swim. From ...
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1answer
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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1answer
725 views

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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2answers
542 views

Reported/Indirect speech of “Words fail me.”

For all grammar gods, I have a question regarding the appropriate way to use indirect speech to report someone saying, "words fail me." Normally, I would say: "He said that words failed him." This ...
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2answers
98 views

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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3answers
758 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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1answer
88 views

Use of IS and WAS in reported speech [duplicate]

Which one is more correct: Melissa said she was going to the mall. or Melissa said she is going to the mall.
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1answer
182 views

Reported speech of future time clauses

How should we report sentences including "future time clause?" We will have dinner when your father gets home. Do we have to change the tense of 'future time clause' or leave it in the original ...
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2answers
245 views

Reported speech - statements whose meaning still stands

I know the main idea behing the reported speech (shifting of tenses) but one of the textbooks I have says: I like pizza. He said he liked pizza. But I think that if he likes pizza, he likes ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
78 views

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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1answer
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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1answer
361 views

“Used to” and reported speech

He said: “You are a very stupid man.” → He said that I was a very stupid man. But when we express the past by using the structure "used to" is the shift rule valid as well? He used to say: “...
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1answer
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Questions in indirect speech and verb tense change

Today I had another English lesson and all students were instructed by teacher to ask each other few predefined questions and then to report them. I got the following questions: "What kind of ...
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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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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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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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Parenthetical statements in direct speech

In some novels, I have often seen parenthetical statements used within direct-speech. e.g. from War and Peace Page 1 Non, I warn you, if you don't say this means war — if you still defend all ...
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Reported speech question

What would be the indirect speech form of the following sentence? John told Sean, "Let me help you" (It's not a homework question, I'm preparing for my exam tomorrow. I just stumbled upon this ...
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1answer
256 views

Converting direct to reported speech: who-question [closed]

The teacher asked Marga, "Who helped you with your work?" Would "The teacher asked Marga who had helped her with her work." be an acceptable conversion to reported speech?
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2answers
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Change “What are you doing?” asked Sally into indirect speech

Is "Sally asked what you were doing." correct? It couldn't possibly be "Sally asked what I was doing." right? Thanks.
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1answer
568 views

Indirect Speech Backshifting in Commands & Requests with Time Clauses

I know that backshifting can used when reporting statements and questions. This is clearly stated in many grammar books. Aside from a mere example on some webpage, I haven't found any reference in the ...
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at which point I can shift from past perfect back to simple past?

Imagine I'm writing a story in past tense. Here come some questions: SENTENCE 1: "Tom simply couldn't imagine how different the world had been when his father was at Tom's age: there hadn't been ...
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2answers
382 views

Can verb tense be changed mid-sentence for something that still exists?

Look at this sentence: I knew that the sky is blue. To me, it doesn't make sense to say the sky was blue since it still is blue. Even so, is it grammatically incorrect to say I knew that the sky ...
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1answer
173 views

Is the sequence of tenses applied properly in this example?

I found this sentence in some book: When Mom asked Gramma why she hasn't been answering the telephone, Gramma said. . . . My question is about the sequence of tenses: shouldn't the past perfect ...
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1answer
182 views

Isn't this against tense agreement?

When I got home yesterday, John called and said he will arrive next week. (Wikipedia) Wikipedia says the sentence above is possible. Does it not break the tense agreement when there’s no quotation ...
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398 views

“has”+perfect in reported speech of the future

(1) I will jump out from behind the couch. Then I will tell him: "I have been in the room all along." (2) I will pronounce him dead. Then I will tell him: "You have been pronounced dead." The ...
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1answer
45 views

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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1answer
110 views

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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1answer
374 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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2answers
952 views

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 ...
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1answer
462 views

What tense to use when reporting something which has never been true or never happened? [duplicate]

The report said that years ago city planners had planned to build a facility that turns salt water into fresh water, but financial woes made that impossible. In this sentence should turned be used ...
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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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3answers
264 views

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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1answer
106 views

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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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 ...