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Questions tagged [indirect-speech]

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

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Won't talk or wouldn't talk [on hold]

There has been a debate between me and my colleague about which of the following two constructions is more correct. He says that using 'this' means that it is a recent action that has just happened, ...
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Is “let” a modal? [migrated]

Must the verb that follow let always be an infinitive regardless of the context, even in a reported speech? For example, He told us to let him saw her one last time. Is that correct?
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Business Talk, formal way communication [migrated]

The situation is My boss said to me to inform Person1 to call the boss. "He said to me that he wants you to call him". Is this correct? Or Can say like "He wants you to call me" I prefer to avoid ...
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You may leave the room,how can we report it [migrated]

How could we report "You may leave the room"Teacher said Can we report it as Teacher gave me the permission to leave the room OR Teacher said to me that I might/could/may leave the room. May,...
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1answer
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Reporting past action in present tense - Minutes production [closed]

Ms. Smith reported staff has no objection to the request. or Ms. Smith reported staff had no objection to the request.
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Why do we structure dialogue/direct speech the way that we do?

I hate how we format dialogue. I believe convention has gotten too heavy and we need to think a little more about logic. That being said, my question, to be more specific, is asking about labels for ...
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1answer
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Reported speech, a test task

Good day, Friends. Could you help with a test question? The question is a ‘fill the gap’ type: We had expected that they _______ fluent English, but in fact they didn’t. a) were speaking b) would ...
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1answer
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Reported speech - “last January”

How would you change the time expression in the following sentence into a reported-speech form? "We have not been to London since last January?" What about "the last January?" Or, is there no change?
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Is it grammatically incorrect to not change past continuous to past perfect cont. in reported speech?

"When Bill called me I was discussing the outcome of the project with Jessie," said Daniel. Daniel said he was discussing the outcome of the project with Jessie when Bill called him. Is this correct?
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1answer
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Reported Speech - sentence with two verbs

"Did it hurt when you touched the wire?", the doctor asked. Let's say that we want to put the above sentence in reported speech. Would it be The doctor asked if it had hurt when I touched the ...
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2answers
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May I know which one is correct?

between saying "I told him that if he doesn't hear from me after three days, please call the police." and "I told him that if he didn't hear from me after three days, please called the police." ...
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Is this an example of indirect speech?

I wrote: School starts in August next year? I thought it started in September. I proposed that this is one good example of how grammar can confuse people because a preterite (started) is used to ...
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Indirect Speech/whether-if

We say: I don't know whether he is right. Is it acceptable to say: I don't know he's right or wrong.
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Using “I am” with reported speech [duplicate]

Which of these statements is correct? (The context is identity inquiry.) She asked me who I am. OR She asked me who I was.
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Why do some people speak like they are speaking as the person they are speaking to?

I know that question sounds confusing, but let me explain. Alice was walking down the street when she met John. Instead of saying, "John, please listen to me.", Alice speaks as if she is John, "Will ...
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Reported Speech Problem

"I love you" converted to reported speech is:He said that he loved me.I want to ask him "Did what you said was true"? Is there any problem in that question?
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Converting reported past perfect continuous into direct

I've encountered this sentence in my exam and I was asked to turn it into direct form: She said that she had been studying. So, there are no keywords in this sentence that indicate it would be ...
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2answers
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Reported speech modal verbs could and might

I know that usually we don't change modal verbs in reported speech but i want to know if it is OK to change could for might as it doesn't change the meaning. I failed my English exam on this one ...
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1answer
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Why isn't it “had handed” in “the girl alleged that her mother handed her over”?

In the following reported speech: The girl alleged that her mother handed her over to a pimp and was taking Rs 40,000 from him every month. — Times of India Newspaper, 1st May 2018 Why is it ...
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1answer
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Reported speech with “never”, which one is correct? [closed]

Direct speech: “I never lose my books”. Which one is correct in Indirect speech: “He said he never lost his books.” or “He said he never loses his books.” ?
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How can I turn “Why couldn't you help me last month?” into reported speech?

How can i turn: Jessica: "Why couldn't you help me last month?" into reported speech?
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Modals in the past + reported speech

If the original sentence looks like this: You should have asked me, 'Can I take your car?' Should the 'reported speech' one look like this: You should have asked me if you could take my car. ...
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0answers
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When to use direct speech vs indirect speech in a story? [closed]

Do you only use indirect speech (without speech marks) when addressing the audience and direct speech between 2 characters conversing? Is it acceptable to use indirect speech in a story/creative ...
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Is “what is the mind” is a clause like “A is B”?

I have seen some people use the sentence “what is the mind is being debated widely” instead of “what the mind is is being debated widely”. Their reason is that “what is the mind” is a clause like “A ...
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1answer
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Which tense we have to use for the reported speech? [closed]

There is an exercise in Raymond Murphy's book on reported speech. In Exercise 48.1, all the answers have been given in past form. However, at Unit 48.A, there is written that It is not always ...
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2answers
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Modal verbs in reporting

'Advanced Grammar In Use' (AGU) by Martin Hewings, UNIT 37 C, says: The verbs could, would, should, might, needn't, ought to, used to, and could have, should have, etc. don't change in the report: ...
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Someone says vs Someone said in reported speech

Is " someone says something" ( in the present) acceptable, and if yes , when? Let's say I just got off the phone with someone, and they said they wouldn't make it on time. I've got someone in front ...
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1answer
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What is the overarching category for Direct and Indirect Speech called in English?

While terms like direct and indirect can be classified within a broader category (object, governance etc.), I am not sure how to classify direct and indirect speech. I thought it could be just speech, ...
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Is there a name for this type of double speak?

My colleague will indirectly ask me to do something by using a statement Eg. John needs a form = can you print me a form to fill out on behalf of John. Her tone of voice does not indicate it's a ...
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2answers
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Change in indirect speech

What is the Indirect form of - He said, " The teacher usually does not ask any question . " He said that - 1). the teacher usually does not ask any question 2). the teacher usually did not ask any ...
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2answers
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Relaying opinion in Indirect speech [closed]

How do you relay an information like this using the indirect speech. For example: David said: "Gone are the days when people could speak good grammar, nowadays, people are just too lazy to try". ...
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Time clause in Reported Speech

A grammar guide mentions the rule that when Time Clause is in Past Simple or Past continuous, the tense is not changed in reported speech, while the tense of the main clause either remains the same or ...
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1answer
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Indirect form of the given sentence

I came across this sentence in a high school grammar book. What should be the correct Indirect form of this sentence ? “So help me, Heaven!” he cried, “I will never steal again.” According to ...
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She admitted she is or was a bilingual

I got some feedback for my essay saying I should have used consistent verb tenses. But it was an interview report and there were many sentences like these: "My interviewee admitted that she is a ...
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4answers
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What’s the right inflection for the bracketed verb in “He asked what time the train [was/will/be] leaving”? [duplicate]

I was conducting a language assessment test when I was asked to fill out a clause: He asked what time the train [ was / will / be] leaving. I would have chosen be to form a subjunctive clause, had ...
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1answer
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direct speech vs. reported speech

I'm an English teacher. I have a question about REPORTED SPEECH - PAST SIMPLE In the book that we use there are two similar direct questions but the answers are different. I am confused, can you ...
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Are there any differences between the future in the past when using “would” & reported speech when changing “will” to “would”?

This site said: The future in the past is used to look into the future from a point of time in the past. However, this "future" event still occurred at a time before the present time. E.g. ...
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1answer
394 views

Use suggestions in reported speech

What I have proposed is that we should have begun to think seriously about a thorough reform in the legal system. What I am proposing is that we begin to think seriously about a thorough ...
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Indirect speech using “which”

I have three questions about "which" and indirect speech. Is it not possible to have indirect speech using "which"? I have explored a lot of grammar sites but none of them give an explanation (or at ...
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Reported speech: Present simple [duplicate]

When someones asks about "How far is it from Muscat to Salalah?" Shouldn't the reported speech be: Someone asked me about how far it is from Muscat to Salalah. But the answer in my book is (How far ...
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1answer
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Indirect Speech - Tense Shifting [duplicate]

In this quoted example, is it okay to shift verb tenses mid-sentence? Background: The narration is written in present tense. The narrator is referencing something that was said in the past, but the ...
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1answer
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why --not <or> to infinitive in “indirect speech” [closed]

1.He asked me why I didn't run and fetch the doctor. 2.He asked me to run and fetch the doctor. I wanted to know which sentence is more natural and formal for reprted speech.
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1answer
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A puzzle about direct/indirect question

First of all, I know that if we ask "who is he.", normally the indirect question which corresponds with it would be "who he is." (for example: do you know who he is?) Still, recently, one question ...
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Moving a future date into the past in reported speech [duplicate]

Suppose someone says "I will come to your place the day after tomorrow," and we want to report this after three days. The day originally referred to as tomorrow has moved into the past; after three ...
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1answer
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Must indirectly quoted questions be in the passive voice?

I saw this sentence in a newspaper: The crucial question they should have asked, but it was not, was what was Gordhan's intention at the time of his decision to allow Pillay early retirement. Do ...
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1answer
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reported speech causing tenses confusion [duplicate]

You didn't tell me that you have a girlfriend.(Does it mean that he still has a girlfriend) or You didn't tell me that you had a girlfriend.(Does it mean that he no longer has a ...
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2answers
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Are tenses in this quotation sequenced correctly?

One of the examples listed in Oxford Dictionary for Learners caught my attention. Regularly I can explain the grammar of all examples listed there, but not this time. The quotation is: As a child ...
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1answer
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“Mom was saying that dad wanted me to mow the lawn and asked what time I would be coming home?”

Mom was saying that dad wanted me to mow the lawn and asked what time I would be coming home. In the sentence above, who is asking what time I would be coming home, mom or dad? If it's mom, why isn't ...
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1answer
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Backshifting of future subordinate

I will help you when you grow up Which sentences are correct? (I think the 1. is the correct one in a grammatical sense. The second may not be the best version, yet I have seen/heard this ...
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2answers
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Tenses - Reported speech WITHIN a conditional clause

If we would like to express a conditional statement about a present fact as in "Can you go outside today? - I don't know yet, I need my parents' approval first" Are these sentences correct? ...