Questions tagged [reported-speech]

For questions about the report of one speaker or writer on the words spoken, written, or thought by someone else.

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Backshift in time to distance yourself from indirect speech if introductory sentence in present?

For indirect speech with introductory sentences in simple past, there's a backshift in time: Peter: “The sky is blue.” Peter said the sky was blue. Now, I want to quote a general idea/thought using ...
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What is "The day before yesterday" in reported speech?

If "yesterday" becomes "the previous day" in reported speech, what about "the day before yesterday"? Direct Speech: "I came back the day before yesterday" he ...
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Transfer "Would you mind if..." into indirect speech

Direct speech: "Would you mind if I gave you a brief instruction, Jason?" said Chloe. --> Chloe told...... Someone wrote: Chloe told Jason to give him a brief instruction. It sounds very ...
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Backshifting in reported speech with 1)"for...", 2)"from...to...", 3)"while", 4)"until"

I've got a question about backshifting in reported speech. I've got some examples where we use the simple past even though the objects of the actions haven't been completed (the book has never been ...
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Direct to Indirect Speech

May I please check how to convert the following direct speech to indirect? Mary asked me "can you do it"?
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"Would" when used to express polite, uncertain, or tentative - Does it trigger back-shift (past tense) in reported speech?

A conditional sentence makes the reported part past tense and back-shifted. Example 1: If I were you, I would say that I didn't want to join his team. "Would" can be used to make the ...
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Reported speech explanation [closed]

I need a very detailed explanation about reported speech. I'm confused about the tense change. Thanks!
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7 answers
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Convert to indirect speech: ‘Rajeev said, “But, dad, didn't you promise me a new laptop?”’

I have an exercise to convert a sentence into direct speech: Rajeev said, "But, dad, didn't you promise me a new laptop?" I believe the answer should be Rajeev reminded his dad hadn't he ...
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He said he has read that book VS He said he had read that book

He said he has read that book. He said he had read that book. Both of these sentences are grammatically correct. It seems there is a nuance in meaning between them. So, what is the nuance?
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He said that he have vs he had

lets assume I saw my friend last night and he said exactly on of these to me: I've lost my keys. or I Had lost my keys. so, I know in reported speech I must convert "Have" to "Had&...
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Why would it be necessary to backshift here

Can somebody explain why it would be necessary to backshift The parcel was not delivered so it remains the seller's property. He said the parcel was not delivered, so it remains the seller's ...
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Reported speech with the word "before"

I have such a sentence: 'Who did you see at the club last night?' Tony asked me. I need to transform it into reported speech using the word before. But wherever I put the word, it changes the ...
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Reported speech with no change in tense

I am doing homework about this topic and I don't know how to turn these statements into reported speech: Direct speech: The concert is cancelled. Julian said that the concert is cancelled. Or Julian ...
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Can I change the future tense into the past tense?

Can I change the future tense into the past tense when I change the direct speech into the indirect speech? “I will open the door” I said I would open the door. I said I opened the door. The door ...
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Can "shout" or "scream" be used to introduce reported speech?

Is it grammatically correct to say: She shouted at him that he hooked up with his friend. She screams at him that he is stupid.
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Does "any" change to "some" in reported speech?

This sentence appeared in a reported speech exercise assigned to me. "Are there any oranges in the fridge?", she asked her mom. This is the exercise's key — it changed "any" to &...
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Can we use the time expression (... ago) in past perfect tense?

I've read it somewhere that the time expression (... ago) (e.g. two days ago, two weeks ago, etc.) is only used in the simple past. But in the exercise on unit 35, Advanced Grammar in Use I found this ...
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Is putting the pronoun after the reporting verb ungrammatical and obsolete?

Hewings M. in his book Advanced Grammar in Use explains that in the English used in stories and novels, the reporting verb (e.g. ask, continue) is often placed before the subject when the reporting ...
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Why is 'I asked who was the winner' correct?

The title has said everything, I suppose. I read a related discussion in this site yesterday (I don't have the link because I don't remember) that the answerer says it's incorrect to write that way ...
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Why is the pronoun 'we' not changed to 'they' in this reported speech?

"Are we late?" Anna ______ late. A. asked we are B. said we were C. asked if we were The answer should be C. To my understanding, the pronoun we should be changed to they in reported ...
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‘Thankin' God that you weren't here’

September saw a month of tears And thankin' God that you weren't here To see me like that Is “God” indirect object? Tim McGraw By Taylor Swift
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I'm really confused about using 'SAYS' and 'SAID'

Renzo said that he'll show up the big event. He says that he can cook with casts on his arms. What's the difference between these two sentences?
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he said to me, "traitor" change to indirect

he said to me, "traitor" change to indirect would the indirect be : He called me a traitor. or He told me that I have been a traitor.
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john said, "David must go tomorrow." would the indirect form be John said that David must have gone the following day?

john said, "David must go tomorrow." would the indirect form be John declared that David must have gone the following day ? or would it be: john said that David would have to go the ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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What is indirect form of: he said, "If I were you, I would protest."

What is indirect form of: He said, "If I were you, I would protest." I think the answer is: If he had been I, he would have protested Can it also be: If he had been me instead of I or ...
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who my roommate was

a. He asked me who my roommate was. a. He asked me who was my roommate. Are both grammatically correct? What is the difference in their meanings if they are both correct? I can see at least three ...
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She called me before dinner and said she _____ arrive home until eleven, so we don't need to wait for her---"wouldn't" or "won't"

Iris: What's wrong with you, honey? Theo: Look at the clock. It is almost 10 p.m., but Anna hasn't got home yet. Iris: She called me before dinner and said she _______arrive home until eleven, so we ...
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I promised/offered her to send the money right away

Page 632 of Collins English Usage reads When you are reporting an action that the speaker intends to perform, you can sometimes use either a 'to'-infinitive or a 'that'-clause. You do not use a 'to'-...
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4 votes
3 answers
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"In whose symbolic shadow we stand today"

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It's a line from Martin Luther King's famous speech, I wonder if it is inverted? ...
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"Didn't need/have to do" vs "needn't have done"

If it was not necessary for someone to do something on a particular occasion, you say that they didn't need/have to do it, but in a reporting clause you can use needn't do it, as in They knew they ...
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Is it correct to say " The teacher said that London is the capital of England "? [closed]

https://znanija.com/task/43770790 On the above address you can see that "The teacher said that London is the capital of England" is mentioned as a correct sentence. Is it grammatically true? ...
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Changing simple present direct speech into indirect speech

Consider the following direct speech: He said, "she is an intelligent student". I want to change it into indirect speech and I don't know which tense to use for the subordinate clause: He ...
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Using the proper tense

He mentioned that he ........ problems at home, but he didn't explain. However, reading between the lines, I guess his relationship with his wife is not as nice as it used to be. a. has (while he ...
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The headmaster said "why?" change it into indirect speech

I'm facing trouble changing it. Would you please help me solve the problem? The headmaster said "why?" Change the above sentence into indirect speech please.
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1 answer
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Reporting past events

Could anybody pick the correct alternative to report this event in the present? BOSTON and LONDON, July 20, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Orchard Therapeutics today announced that the company has received ...
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Bob said he “saw” Alex the previous week - is this correct?

I remember in a subordinate clause both past perfect and simple past are fine. But I am not sure so I came up with this question. Two days ago, Bob told me, "he saw Alex last week." Today, ...
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Is direct speech an object of a verb?

I said that I played soccer. “That I player soccer” is an object of a verb.” I said, “I played soccer.” Is “‘I played soccer’” an object of a verb?
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Future real conditional (also first conditional ) in a reported speech: was or were?

Questions: Q1: When using a first real conditional in a reported speech, it has to be backshifted. But I don't know whether to use: was or were? Q2: Are the tenses of the italic words (met and went) ...
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Reported speech confusion

Direct speech “I worked in a bank for 3 years,” said Michael. Reported speech Michael said that he had worked in a bank for three years. Is had worked necessary there, or would just worked have ...
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he said he had not received it vs he said he did not receive it [duplicate]

He said he had not received it vs he said he did not receive it . Does the second sentence means that the saying and the non receiving happened quite at the same time whereas "had not received&...
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1 vote
1 answer
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If it doesn't rain, I will come

At 1 PM: Friend: John, will you come to the party with us? (the party is at night) John: If it doesn't rain, I will come. (looking at the weather forecast for the day, which predicts rain at night) At ...
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In these cases what is the best solution

I was given a wrong number Is this reported speech possible "he said he was given a wrong number" (with no backshift) if it is reported 10 minutes after it was said . Would it be better to ...
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Converting "'You have been here for two years and we are going to stay another six months' he said" to reported speech

How can I convert this to the form of "He said that..."? "You have been here for two years and we are going to stay another six months" he said. My answer: He said that I had ...
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2 answers
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Converting "Do you have any relatives who used to live there?" to reported speech, is "have" or "had" correct?

Context: Person A found a old paper written in Arabic script in their basement. They took a picture of it and post it on a language forum. Person B says: Do you have any relatives who used to live in ...
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What will be the Indirect form of the sentence - Ron said, "Jean will look after the dogs while we are away." -

The answer given in textbook is - Ron said that Jean would look after the dogs while they were away. But this doesnt seems right. "were" sounds wrong
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Punctuating reporting speech [closed]

How do I punctuate a sentence like this: May he stay in school and become a doctor wished his parents while we his friends wished may he return home soon and join the army along with us. This is ...
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free relatives and indirect questions

How do you distinguish a free relative from an indirect question? Both begin with wh-words. How are they different in meaning? Are the following sentences examples of free relatives or indirect ...
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Jacob said to Jane, "I was absolutely furious." What will be the answer in indirect speech?

Jacob said to Jane, “I was absolutely furious.” What will be the answer in indirect speech? Rule says ‘was’ (simple past) will be converted to past perfect. According to this rule the answer will be ...
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1 vote
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Reported speech with two parts

When we turn direct reported speech into indirect reported speech, the rules are different depending on whether the speech is an imperative or a statement. Direct: He told her "Turn right at the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Indirect speech and direct speech

Should I use direct speech if the speech is non-sense? For example, someone says ‘qpwoeiru,’ then is saying ‘someone says qpwoeiru’ wrong but is saying “someone says ‘qpwoeiru’” right?
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