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 to close the factories in Latin America''

Since everything has to be in reported speech, I wrote this: ''Mr. Johson said that Latina America and Asia produce the same products. He suggested to close the factories in America''.

I have my doubts about my reported speech version. Since most of the time Simple Present become simple past in reported speech, should the word ''produce'' be changed in ''produced''?, if so, won't this change the meaning of the sentence. Won't it mean that they produced the same products in the past, but nowadays they don't. My teacher said that everything has to be in reported speech, but since this kind of changes the meaning of the sentence, I got confused.

Here is another sentence which got me confused:

Mr Johnson: I do not want to downsize because my companies are profitable.

what is the reported speech of this when taking minutes?

Please help me out, the assignment is due tomorrow morning.

  • 2
    You should read the “Suggest to go” vs. “suggest going” thread first. I don't know the rules for converting dodgy direct speech to reported speech. Oct 10, 2014 at 19:37
  • it is not dodgy, it is a perfect sentence.
    – Milo
    Oct 10, 2014 at 19:47
  • 1
    'Suggest to close' is unacceptable in the registers I'm familiar with. Oct 10, 2014 at 20:00
  • I see, sorry for that
    – Milo
    Oct 11, 2014 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


In the first sentence, I would preserve the present tense of the second verb. I would also use a gerund for the fourth verb.

"Mr. Johnson said that Latin America and Asia produce the same products. He suggested closing the factories in America."


In Engineering, we are not stuck with the compulsion of non-disjointed sentences, but for practicality and clarity. I don't see why other people are so stuck up with exact reproduction of speech and verbatim. It's for clarity and communications, for goodness' sake.

10:05 am, Jefferson Room: meeting started
In attendence: John, Amar, Quan, Santiago

10:10 am: Explanation and clarification of morning's reports.

  1. Quality report by Amar
  2. Production output report by Quan
  3. Material incoming by Santiago
  4. Inventory movements by John.

10:37 am: Scrum

Quan is shorthanded by one technician. Amar has committed to lend Quan a technician George Buesch.

Santiago has a backlog of materials which Quan has not accepted. Santiago is running out of space, and inventory is costing Santiago kanban dollars.

Quan called his planner, who has agreed to study the inspected-incoming inventory figures to expedite material movement and to tell vendor to reduce delivery.

blah ... blah ... blah

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