0

Suppose ABC told XYZ, "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow". I need to use it inside an interrogative sentence. What is the correct way to write it? See my try below:

Did ABC tell XYZ "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow"?

OR

Did ABC tell XYZ like "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow"?

What is the correct way to use narration inside an interrogative sentence?

Optionally suggest the correct punctuation.

4
  • If you want more valuable answers you will need to give more context and specifics. The suggestion you give is hard to picture any human saying outside of a formal interrogation. Who is taking to who? What is the intended tone? Why are they asking the question? Is it a friendly conversation or a hostile interrogation?
    – jwpfox
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 20:09
  • @jwpfox I wanted to know how the sentence would be grammatically correct. Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 2:39
  • It’s grammatically okay but it doesn’t read like anything a native speaker would say/write in normal circumstances. Hope that’s helpful.
    – jwpfox
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 3:01
  • @jwpfox yes, I understand. I myself wouldn't say like that as well. But at times I do see "quoted sentences" inside questions. So, I asked this to know the correct grammar. Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 3:29

1 Answer 1

1

Thew use of "like" in your second alternative is very informal, and technically incorrect. I advise against using it unless there is a deliberate intention to imitate the speech of particular subgroups where that usage was common, particularly the youth of the 1970s and 1980s.

The first alternative:

Did ABC tell XYZ "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow"?

is acceptable, although I would prefer a comma or a colon after "XYZ" as

Did ABC tell XYZ: "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow"?

If the intent is to indicate that the quotation may not be exact, one could write:

  • Did ABC tell XYZ something like: "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow"?

  • Did ABC tell XYZ something similar to "I don't need it today. Bring it tomorrow"?

One couyld also reword with indirect dialog, not using quote3s. For example:

Did ABC tell XYZ that it wasn't needed today, and should be brought tomorrow instead?

There are many valid ways to rephrase this, changing emphasis slightly but not really altering the meaning.

You must log in to answer this question.

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