Questions tagged [indirect-speech]

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

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What punctuation is used to indicate paraphrased dialogue?

I'm translating a prose work about an epic poem. Instead of quoting dialogues in the original verse form, the author sometimes paraphrases them. What is the standard punctuation for such paraphrased ...
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How does "dare" change in indirect speech?

In indirect speech some modal verbs usually change. can -> could He said "I can ride a bike" = He said that he could ride a bike may -> might/could He asked "May I use the ...
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the form of conditional sentence in the indicative mood when expressing future in the past

Any bridge over the river would need to be a very high suspension bridge. Considering the limited technology in those days, building such a bridge seemed impossible. That is, people thought it was ...
Joseph Kim's user avatar
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"It was time they began/had begun"

Which version is the correct indirect form of this sentence: The boss said, “It’s time we began planning our work”. 1. The boss said that it was time they began planning their work. 2. The boss said ...
Manish's user avatar
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Are the following sentences possible to use (and also grammatically correct) and what meaning do they have? [duplicate]

I. I thought he was swimming - I thought he swam for a while but found out it was a lie I thought he is swimming - I thought he was swimming now, but he's not. I thought he swam - I thought he once ...
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Indirect speech: The day after

I want to change the following sentence into indirect speech with backshift: “There will be a show next Saturday.” He said there would be a show the following Saturday. Is it also possible to say ...
Chesterfield's user avatar
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Should I use backshift with both verbs in "Everyone thinks I am overreacting"? [duplicate]

Which one of the following clauses is better or could both be used when the original utterance is "Everyone thinks I am overreacting." "Jill said that everyone thought she was ...
noorav's user avatar
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Changing “You don't listen to me” to reported speech

I came across a question from an ESL paper asking students to convert direct speech to reported speech but I don't think any of the provided answers is correct. The question is as follows: Q. Jamil ...
Khalid Hussain's user avatar
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Change narration in the given sentence [closed]

The sentence is : He said ,"Get out of my way." This question was asked in an examination. It is a standalone sentence, not constituting a part of any passage. So in this case, I do not know ...
HARVEER RAWAT's user avatar
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Can "may have" be used in a past-tense narrative?

In a narrative written in third person past tense, such as you'd find in most published books, can the phrase "may have" be used after verbs like "thought" or "said"? As ...
seadeepy's user avatar
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Which verb tense do I use for a secondary but perpetual action mentioned in a sentence that happened in the past?

I’m trying to write a sentence in which the primary action occurred in the past, but within that sentence is another subject–verb pair in which the verb describes a perpetual state of being. Here is ...
sueanna's user avatar
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Backshifting in reported speech - thought/knew/promised

This is another question on backshifting. I looked at other such questions at ELU & ELL, it appears that the general consensus is something like 'if the reported situation still hasn't changed, it'...
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Rewriting in an indirect tone: B: "Peer pressure has its benefits as well. Our peers also motivate and inspire us to do better and work hard." [duplicate]

A: "It is difficult to fight against peer pressure." B: "Peer pressure has its benefits as well." So shouldn't this be: A said that it is difficult to fight against peer pressure. ...
ray's user avatar
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Until it stops or stopped? Reported speech question

"I told him to wait until the rain stops" or "i told him to wait until the rain stopped"
Mike S.'s user avatar
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Can I change "was" to "had been", when expressing age?

Actually, I teach English language for 12 years, but today I got confused when I tried to report this sentence: William: 'I lived in China until I was fifteen.' William said that he had lived in ...
Mohammed Ramadhan's user avatar
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We decided that if they do not leave the place in one day, we would surely force them out. To use 'do not' or 'did not' in this sentence?

We decided that if they do not leave the place in one day, we would surely force them out. We decided that if they did not leave the place in one day, we would surely force them out. Difference ...
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Is there a change of tense in the verb in the reported clause when the reporting verb is in the Conditional Perfect? [duplicate]

Direct reported speech: 'I disagree,' John would probably have said. Indirect reported speech: John would probably have said that he disagrees/disagreed. Which is correct?
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Reported speech with an event before another in the past [duplicate]

He said that before people built roads, they travelled on the river. The original statement before being reported, as I understand it, should be: Before people built roads, they travelled on the ...
Richard's user avatar
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Can you introduce a direct quotation with "that" and not accommodate conjugation and pronouns?

I've heard this many times recently in public, copy-edited discourse, where I don't expect to find grammatical errors, but it doesn't sound right to me. Let's say my mom says to me, "I want you ...
kjohnsen's user avatar
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How to report when having a Future Perfect introductory clause? [closed]

How to change this into reported speech? He will have said, "John is so bad!" Would it be: He will have said that John was so bad (Past tense), or He will have said that John is so bad (no ...
English--more exc than laws's user avatar
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Reported/Indirect Speech and Past Simple with when. Can they get confused with each other?

Going straight to the point, let's say that I have a sentence like He asked when the train arrived. How can I tell whether this is a Past Simple (As soon as the train arrived he asked) or Reported ...
Bartłomiej Varil Kręgielewski's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
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Modal verbs (must, may, would) in reported-speech backshift

Could a native English speaker please finally clear this confusion for us? The textbooks are either silent or contradicting each other. Must Direct speech: "That must be wrong!" Later she ...
deLock's user avatar
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Reported Questions

I have a question about the use of reported speech. " Who were with you", asked Tom. If I have to change the above question into a reported question, should the answer be Tom asked me who I ...
englishjj's user avatar
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A question on reported speech

So, AFAIK in reported speech we usually backshift, for example: Last night I called her, and she said she was not home. But what if we talk about something that was written at some time in the past ...
theguyfromtheworld's user avatar
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Can I use "Would" instead of the infinitive?

In the example, "I expect she will not tell the truth/ I don't expect she will tell the truth," said the judge. My teacher said that it should be reported this way, "The judge didn't ...
Abdelbasset's user avatar
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Why use "will" instead of "would" in this case

My teacher of Grammar at university told us that when we report a speech that was said in the past, we replace "will" by "would". However, in this example, she used "will"...
Abdelbasset's user avatar
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"had" permissible? [closed]

Grammar for CAE and Proficiency, Hewings Backdrop: Stephen shares his experience after a job interview. I admitted __________ (have problems) in the early stages of the work. [his PhD research] The ...
user196887's user avatar
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does it sound natural?

"I'm British" I told the police I was British I told the police I am British In the following situation "was" sounds more natural. Then the police arrived... I told them I was ...
user196887's user avatar
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Started early because I had some lectures to attend later on. OR Started early because I have some lectures to attend later on

Which one of the following sentences is correct? I started early because I had some lectures to attend later on. OR I started early because I have some lectures to attend later on.
architect's user avatar
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Reported speech: "would do something", or "would have done something"

What would the following be in reported speech? Q "If I had any money I'd buy you a drink" she said. (a) She told me she would buy me a drink if she had any/some money or (b) She told me she ...
David Harrison's user avatar
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Indirect speech - which statement is correct? [duplicate]

I read this statement in an English book and I wonder if this statement is correct: She told me that she still remembers how scared everyone was. I have learned that in indirect speech statements ...
hosseinAmini's user avatar
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60 views

Past perfect/simple past in reported speech

Sentences: We told her that we had given her the money that had been saved from her husband's business. It was a pious fraud; she would have been distressed had she known we had collected it among ...
Prooff's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
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Can “was not ᴠᴇʀʙing” and “will not ᴠᴇʀʙ” ever be exact equivalents in reported speech? [closed]

Do English speakers understand this sentence: I told him I wasn’t playing soccer anymore. Exactly as they would this sentence: I told him I will not play soccer anymore. If so, why would they ...
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direct speech to indirect speech [closed]

Zia said to Ria, "What a crisis this man has created!" what will it be in indirect speech?
Paul's user avatar
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1 answer
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Changing from indirect to direct speech [closed]

Change into Direct speech: He said that he had started a job. Two possibilities: He said, "I have started a job". He said, "I started a job". Which of the above is correct?
Yaseen Khan's user avatar
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Past perfect in reported statements of complex sentence

If the sentence is reported statements, whether both parts of the sentence have to be in Past Perfect or only the first one? For example: "I had loved her for more than half of my life," she ...
KBriezy's user avatar
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Would like in the passive voice

When I am solving English tests. I came across with would like in passive voice. So the question is: Mr. Brown said he'd like...by Wednesday if that's possible a) have finished the report b) the ...
iMb's user avatar
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How to ask if someone is doing the same thing as before without using "still" for negative connotations?

"So, X, are you still living in Y?" "So, A, are you still working at B?" For a conversation opener or continuer, is there an alternative way to enquire, interest, about someone ...
therobyouknow's user avatar
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2 answers
13k views

Would not be able to versus will not be able to

Linda phoned and explained that she would not be able to come to the party the next day because she was still sick. Why do we use would not instead of will not?
Michael's user avatar
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3 votes
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Problem with backshift (past simple to past perfect)

Last week in an EFL class I told students that when reporting a speech they should "backshift" the main verb, exception made when the statement is a general truth or it is still valid. In their ...
Michele's user avatar
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1 answer
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How to change following sentence into Reported Speech? [closed]

This is not the time or place for this. Please, help I have no idea how to do it.
Martina's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
37 views

Should direct speech be used in synopses? [closed]

When you're writing a synopsis for a book, a movie, or a show, is it acceptable to use direct speech? Does it look professional? Or is it better to use indirect speech when it can convey the meaning ...
PTH's user avatar
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-1 votes
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Future tense in reported questions

Context: Boyfriend often stays out late. Girlfriend wants to say that she doesn't worry about this. Incorrect: "I don't usually ask him when he comes home" Correct: "I don't usually ask him ...
Martin Rose's user avatar
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Specified time in the Past in the Reported Speech [duplicate]

I am learning Reported Speech in the Past now. In my English textbook there is a rule: "When it is provided when exactly the action happened, you can leave the Past Simple as it is". I was ...
eugene's user avatar
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Direct and Indirect speech

What would be the indirect speech for this sentence: Mina said, "Let's go for a walk". In my opinion it should be 'Mina suggested that they should go for a walk' but according to my book it is 'Mina ...
Shashwat Choudhary's user avatar
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3 answers
2k views

Reported Speech for a sentence with two clauses with 'when' conjunction;one in past continuous while the other in simple past

What will be the reported speech for the following sentence: She said, "I was walking down the road when I saw the accident." Possibility 1: She said that she had been walking down the road when ...
BenHuman's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
105 views

“He told me that Trump will/would win the re-election.” Will or Would?

He told that Trump {will/would} win the re-election. I know "will" should be used in the present tense. What is confusing me is that: his words were said in the past, but his statement is actually a ...
DamonL's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
551 views

Direct Speech: the subordinator "that" before the reported clause

I've been taught that in "Reported Speech", the subordinator "that" is a signature of "indirect speech". For example: He said, "I will be late." (Direct Speech) ...
Joy and Sorrow's user avatar
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2 answers
250 views

How to handle "I'd say" when turning into reported speech

How can I rewrite this sentence as reported speech? I'd say a lot depends on the student. I can't figure out what is going to happen with would?
Karimakind's user avatar
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Reported Speech: He said, "I was sad"

He said, "I was sad" In indirect speech, the past tense changes to the past perfect. What will be the past perfect form of “was sad”? Is it “had been sad”? But that is past perfect continuous, right?...
Amazon India's user avatar