"He was quoted as saying there would be further delays."

Here what is the meaning of as saying?

Like, Someone quoted him that, "he was saying— there would be further delays.(saying as participle)


Someone quoted him that, he said — there would be further delays. (saying as gerund(verbal noun))

I can't figuring out whether 'saying has been used in this sentence as participle or gerund(verbal noun).

Because as could be used as both preposition and adverb.

I also can't figuring out here that as has been used in above sentence as preposition or adverb ?

I have doubt on above context for long time. So, help me to understand this...

1 Answer 1


You need to consider 'quoted as saying' as a complete, fixed-phrase, idiom, and that 'as' in this and similar uses is equivalent to 'to be'. It is being used as (!) a preposition showing the characteristic or quality of something - this book is described as a tragedy.

He was quoted as (= to be) saying there would be further delays.

My purchase of a large dog was regarded by my family as (= to be) a mistake.

My cousin is described as a genius

quote as saying


to report or say (the exact words) of (someone) —usually used in the form be quoted as

He was quoted as saying there would be further delays.

Quote as saying (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

  • But There should grammatical explanation here.
    – Ansh
    Dec 4, 2023 at 16:47
  • 1
    @Ansh The other important word here, besides "idiom," is "phrase." Sometimes chunks of words act together as if they're one word, and it's not always possible to parse each one of them to a specific role; it's better to consider the role of the phrase. Dec 4, 2023 at 23:05
  • "as" implies something that appeared to be true or something you were told was true (e.g. a quote), while "to be" more strongly implies truth or reality.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 5, 2023 at 10:51
  • @StuartF - I am not sure about that. 'Quoted to be saying' seems sufficiently distanced. Dec 5, 2023 at 11:15
  • @MichaelHarvey, if 'as' is acting as preposition over, then 'saying' should be noun? Since, noun is used after preposition.
    – Ansh
    Dec 6, 2023 at 3:19

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