I know that the following examples are sound:

Someone might say: "I am very smart".

The following might be said: "I am very smart".

It might be said that I am very smart

knowing that the last one has a different meaning because "I" refers to the narrator rather than someone being quoted.

But does the following example look linguistically sound?

It might be said "I am very smart".

or with a colon

It might be said: "I am very smart".

  • Asking if it "looks linguistically sound"... not the first one, but the second with a colon could be ok, but that's like using a hammer to put a pushpin into styrofoam - a bit of overkill but not incorrect.
    – John Rakoczy
    Aug 18, 2016 at 14:32
  • I'd label both 'ungrammatical'. Aug 18, 2016 at 22:07
  • @3m3sd1 This is a colon : Aug 19, 2016 at 3:10

1 Answer 1


You are using "it might be said" in an unidiomatic manner. It is not normally used with a direct quote. Usually it is complemented by a that-clause.

It might be said that it takes a village to raise a child.

It might be said that possession is nine-tenths of the law.

It might be said that the party has become a disunity of factions whose interests are incompatible.

  • To expand your excellent answer, the OP may consider using "One might say" instead of "It might be said that" May 31, 2017 at 8:35

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