Questions tagged [indirect-speech]

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

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4answers
1k views

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
628 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
543 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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2answers
1k 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 ...
4
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1answer
404 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
85 views

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 ...
3
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5answers
4k views

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. ...
3
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2answers
934 views

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 tomorrow ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
3
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2answers
932 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 ...
3
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2answers
282 views

Is Indirect Discourse put in quotes?

In Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë writes: . . . I ventured the request: "Would she give me a roll for this handkerchief?" She looked at me with evident suspicion: "Nay, she never sold stuff i' ...
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4answers
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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
119 views

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)?
3
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1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
741 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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4answers
2k 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 my ...
2
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2answers
846 views

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: ...
2
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2answers
718 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 ...
2
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2answers
574 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? ...
2
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4answers
20k 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 part....
2
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1answer
2k 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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1answer
128 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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3answers
321 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 ...
2
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1answer
477 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 ...
2
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1answer
49 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
64 views

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 ...
2
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1answer
68 views

“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 ...
2
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1answer
113 views

Comma after reporting verbs [closed]

I am a bit confused after seeing some sample sentences. Is it correct not to place commas after the reporting verbs? For example: He indicated he was happy. He indicated, he was happy. Which ...
2
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1answer
307 views

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
110 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 ...
2
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3answers
559 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 ...
2
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1answer
238 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
2k 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: “You ...
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1answer
4k views

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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0answers
53 views

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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0answers
92 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
98 views

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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2answers
909 views

Comma before indirect speech

For instance, you can tell them “I expect you to come to class on time,” or “Do not bully.” Do I need a comma between "them" and "I"? Why or why not?
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4answers
2k views

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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2answers
406 views

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 ...
1
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1answer
506 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' ? I ...
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2answers
2k views

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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3answers
2k views

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 ...
1
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1answer
594 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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3answers
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Change she said to me “what are you doing here ?” into indirect speech

Is "Sally asked what you were doing." correct? It couldn't possibly be "Sally asked what I was doing." right? Thanks.
1
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1answer
943 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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4answers
723 views

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
481 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
243 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 ...