we were doing direct indirect speech and there was a sentence :

Stop what u were doing and listen to me

I choosed this variant but my teacher said it has to be

Stop what u were doing and LISTENED to me

Which one is true. i'm sure about my variant, but I can't proof it😭

  • This seems strange; did those sentences literally contain "u"? What do they have to do with reported speech, were they maybe part of a larger context (text, groups of sentences...)? If so you should give this context... (in isolation the first sentence is clearly correct and the second clearly not but it's so obvious it's weird your teacher would get this wrong, it really seems like something is missing)
    – Oosaka
    Mar 1, 2019 at 20:10
  • It should be "Stop what you are doing". It is impossible to stop something that you were doing in the past. You have already stopped. Mar 1, 2019 at 20:48
  • Why do you write "u" instead of "you"? In some online forums "textese" like this might be fine, but in most it just makes you sound juvenile. Also it should be "chose" not "choosed", and "prove" not "proof".
    – Andrew
    Mar 1, 2019 at 21:47
  • @chaslyfromUK I think it's not unusual to use the past tense "Stop what you were doing", at least in the situation where the person momentarily stopped to listen to the speaker, with the expectation that they will continue afterwards. For example, say a supervisor addresses a group of employees hard at work, "Everyone please stop whatever you were doing and listen to me. Thank you. I've been told we need to prioritize filling out TPS forms, so for the rest of the day, work on those."
    – Andrew
    Mar 1, 2019 at 21:52
  • Also it's not clear how this is "reported speech". It's a direct quote. Are you supposed to change it into reported speech? Can you give an example of how you think you should do that?
    – Andrew
    Mar 1, 2019 at 21:55

1 Answer 1


First of all, neither sentence is reported speech.

If your examples are accurate, your version is correct, and your teacher's version is incorrect.

Stop what you are doing and listen to me.

(As @chasly from UK says in a comment, using the past tense sounds a little odd in this context, although I wouldn't say it's necessarily wrong.)

Reported speech would be:

The teacher said that we should stop what we were doing and listen to them.

  • Note that 'them' is used to refer to a single teacher. It is a case where culture trumps grammar. If, for example, you know the gender of the teacher is female, then you can say, "The teacher said that we should stop what we were doing and listen to her". Mar 2, 2019 at 13:56

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