Questions tagged [indirect-speech]

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

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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 ...
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Why do we use “what” or “how” after “we talked about”? Trying to explain to an English learner [migrated]

I can't seem to find an answer to this question anywhere, and I'm trying to explain it to one of my adult ESL students. I understand the rules of reported speech, but what about saying "I/we ...
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That-clause object complement for reported conditional sentence

What is the correct way to write this sentence? Smith and Jones argue that, since the beginning of the century, tables had shared certain basic features with chairs. I am confused about what ...
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31 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?
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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 ...
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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.
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Should direct speech be used in synopses?

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 ...
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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 ...
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Specified time in the Past in the Reported Speech

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 looking it ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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“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 ...
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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) ...
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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?
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1answer
379 views

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?...
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Use of quotation marks after 'it's called X' and similar? [duplicate]

I've been looking at the Oxford Dictionary's page on inverted commas, and see that they use this example: He called this phenomenon "the memory of water." This seems like it would work with or ...
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Is there a grammatical form that helps you to express that you don't believe the speaker? (reported speech)

Indirect speech: Can you express that you don't believe the original speaker of a sentence (with the help of a tense or a verb form)?
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That's What She Said Quote

Okay, I'm sure most of you have seen this T-Shirt before. But I got to thinking about it the other day. It is obviously a reference to the time-honored tradition of That's what she said in response ...
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indirect speech [duplicate]

How to write this sentence in indirect speech . Eg He said" Some pokemons do not listen to their master". I am confused between these two sentences. He said that some pokemons did not listen to ...
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410 views

Which is the correct tense: “earth was/is round”? [duplicate]

Maybe it's very simple but I'm wondering which one is correct. Google search has showed me both forms are used. "He said the earth was round." "He said the earth is round."
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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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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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320 views

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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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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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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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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257 views

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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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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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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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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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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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: 'I ...
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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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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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830 views

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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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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822 views

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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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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2answers
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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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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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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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466 views

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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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 ...