In English, we can say

"Amany Said "I don't like fish"


"Amany says "I don't like fish"

What does it mean when we use the verb "say" in the present?


In spoken English (as distinct from a story), if we say "Amany says" we report the speech indirectly:

Amany says he doesn't like fish.

says there can refer to words that just came out of his mouth a moment ago, or to something he says whenever asked whether he likes fish.

We use the past tense to report direct speech:

Amany said, "I don't like fish".

In rare instances, if we want to say exactly what Amany always says, we can use the present.

What does Amany always say when flipping a coin?
-- Amany says, "Heads I win, tails you lose". He never tires of it.

In some literary works (novels and stories), you will find the present tense, says, used with direct speech:

I don't like fish, Amany says.

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