For example I tell my friend:

Tell her 'I Love you'

Since he is not going to see the quotation marks he might perceive it as

Tell her I love you

And he might end up telling her

'He loves me'

1 Answer 1


It depends on how you speak :)

In the case of:

Tell her 'I Love you'

you should actually say:

Tell her: [............] 'I Love you'

Notice the (short) pause in speech between the two parts. Also, the tone of the voice is different in the two parts:

  • "tell her" - stronger voice, it is an order / advice;
  • "I love you" - a romantic voice.

It is quite possible that sometimes confusions will happen, but that is not specific to English only.

  • yeah but I'd rather prefer indirect speech, atleast in this case May 16, 2019 at 7:22
  • Of course, indirect speech is better. You asked if direct speech can be used and if it can lead to confusion - and I answered that question.
    – virolino
    May 16, 2019 at 7:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .