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English Instructor
Guiding questions: indirect speech
•What is direct and what is indirect speech?
•What is the word order in indirect questi...
The difference between direct and indirect speech
When we quote word for word what somebody says, in writing we
use invert...
The difference between direct and indirect speech
We also use indirect speech when we report inner thoughts,
although in t...
Punctuation in direct
speech
- We use inverted commas (also called quotation marks, quotes or
speech marks) to indicate di...
- A comma is also used before the quotation if we start the sentence
with the reporting clause. In this case the terminal ...
Changes in indirect speech
In order to understand the changes which may take
place when reporting, we must bear in mind th...
Tense changes in indirect speech
Tenses do not change in indirect speech if:
1- The reporting verb is in a present or futu...
Tenses do not change in indirect speech if;
3- The reported words are true at the time of reporting:
George: I’m meeting K...
Tenses do change in indirect speech if;
- The reporting takes place later than the reference point of the original utteran...
- As seen in the example, the verbs in the present perfect and present
continuous tenses in the original utterance changed...
The sequence of tenses:
Direct speech

Indirect speech

present simple

past simple

present continuous

past continuous

...
Note that;
* The past perfect and past perfect continuous tenses do not
change.
* In complex sentences the verb in the tim...
Modal changes in indirect speech
Similarly to tense changes, if the reported sentence is still true at
the time of reporti...
Original utterance

Reported sentence

needn’t

didn’t need to/didn’t have to

must (obligation)

had to

must (certainty)...
Note that some modals (must (deduction), could, would, might,
mustn't, had better, ought to, should, used to) do not chang...
- Time and place expression changes in indirect speech.
Remember that language is always used in a context (in a real life...
Original utterance

Reported sentence

last
night/week/month/year/time
etc.

the previous
night/week/month/year/time
etc.
...
Conditionals and unreal tenses
in indirect speech essentially the same as those discussed
The rules that apply here are
on...
Past time
"Julie walked the streets without an umbrella if it was raining."
- It was rumored that Julie had walked the str...
Second conditional in indirect speech
When reporting a second conditional,

the following tense changes may be applied.

F...
Third conditional in indirect speech
When reporting a third conditional, we apply no tense
changes.
"If they had been more...
WISH, WOULD RATHER, IT'S (HIGH) TIME
in indirect speech

When reporting structures such as wish, would rather, it's (high)...
Reporting structures

An indirect sentence consists of;
a reporting clause and a reported clause:
Carol said | that she ha...
Examples of reporting verbs
which are often used with this structure
reporting verbs used with a that-clause
add
admit
agr...
Reporting questions

Yes  No Questions;

reporting clause + if/whether-clause (with no inversion)
When reporting a yes/no ...
The same structure can be used to report exclamations:
John: How funny!
John exclaimed how funny it was.
Examples of repor...
Reporting imperatives

reporting verb + somebody + to + infinitive
When reporting an imperative sentence,
we usually use a...
Common reporting verbs;
When reporting we usually do not only repeat the words in the
original utterance but also express ...
In this chapter you can find a compilation of reporting verbs which is
based not on the mood of the original utterance (de...
- Judge: I want to see the documents.
The judge demanded to see the documents.
- Susan: I hope I’ll get to the airport in ...
Reporting verb + somebody + TO + infinitive
ask, advise, allow, beg, command, encourage, forbid, instruct, invite,
order, ...
- Sergeant: Fire!
The sergeant commanded the firing squad to shoot.
- Uncle:
Have you ever thought of starting scuba divin...
Geoffrey to Julie: Be a vegetarian; it’s better for your health.
Julie: But I like bacon!
Geoffrey: You don’t know what th...
David: Don’t forget to buy some milk.
David reminded me to buy some milk.
Sign: Do not take photographs, please
Visitors a...
Reporting verb + THAT-clause
add, admit, agree, answer, believe, claim, complain, confess, confirm,
decide, deny, doubt, e...
- Rev. Johansson: I think that all humans are born equal.
Reverend Johansson believes that all humans are born equal.
- Ju...
- Student: I don’t think that we could convince the professor that
this is not plagiarism.
The student doubted that they c...
- President to friend: Anyway, I may resign next year.
The President casually mentioned that he might resign the next
year...
Reporting verb + THAT-clause with SHOULD + infinitive
advise, agree, demand, insist, prefer, propose, recommend, request,
...
- Howard: I’d rather you came to my party, Susan, and not to Julie’s.
Howard preferred that Susan should go to his party.
...
Reporting verb + THAT-clause with subjunctive
advise, agree, demand, insist, prefer, propose, recommend, request,
suggest,...
- Howard:
I’d rather you came to my party, Susan, and not to Julie’s.
Howard preferred that Susan go to his party.
- Jill:...
Reporting verb + noun / gerund (-ING)
accuse sy of, admit (to), apologize for, boast about, confess (to),
complain (to sy)...
- Julie to her neighbors: Yes, it was me who started that ugly rumor
about your past. Can you forgive me?
Julie confessed ...
-Museum sign: No smoking
They prohibit smoking in the museum.
Smoking is prohibited in the museum.
- Jill: What about goin...
Notes: indirect speech
Reporting verbs expressing opinion
In case of reporting verbs expressing opinion (assume, expect, s...
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Direct & reported speech

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Direct & Indirect Speech

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Direct & reported speech

  1. 1. English Instructor
  2. 2. Guiding questions: indirect speech •What is direct and what is indirect speech? •What is the word order in indirect questions? •When do tense change in indirect speech? •What other changes occur in reporting? •Besides say, tell and ask, what other reporting verbs can be used?
  3. 3. The difference between direct and indirect speech When we quote word for word what somebody says, in writing we use inverted commas, and we repeat the original utterance exactly. This is called direct speech: David: Have you seen The Two Towers? (original utterance) David asked, "Have you seen The Two Towers?" (direct speech) However, if we give the same meaning without repeating the exact words, we do not use inverted commas, and certain changes may be necessary. This is called indirect speech (or reported speech, because we report what has been said): David (to Tom): Have you seen The Two Towers? (original utterance) David asked Tom if he had seen The Two Towers. (indirect speech)
  4. 4. The difference between direct and indirect speech We also use indirect speech when we report inner thoughts, although in this case there is no explicit original utterance, just an implied one: I had no idea where my keys were. (implied utterance: Where are my keys?) She knew that the lock had been changed. (implied utterance: The lock has been changed.)
  5. 5. Punctuation in direct speech - We use inverted commas (also called quotation marks, quotes or speech marks) to indicate direct speech. - Double quotes (") are preferred in American English, while single quotes (') are more usual in British English: "I'm coming home late tonight," she said. (American English) 'I'm coming home late tonight,' she said. (British English) If we quote within direct speech, we use the other style for the embedded quotation: "She said, 'I'm coming home late tonight,'" recalled Jim. (American English) 'She said, "I'm coming home late tonight,"' recalled Jim. (British English) As you see in the examples above, a comma (,) is used at the end of the quotation, before the closing speech mark.
  6. 6. - A comma is also used before the quotation if we start the sentence with the reporting clause. In this case the terminal full stop (.) comes before the closing speech mark: She added, "Don't expect me before 11." - If the quotation is a question or exclamation, the terminal marks (? and !) also come before the closing speech marks: "Hurry up!" he shouted. She asked, "Am I late?" The quotation normally begins with a capital letter, except if it is interrupted by a reporting clause, in which case the first letter of the continuation is not capitalized: "I'm coming home late tonight," she said and added, "don't expect me before 11."
  7. 7. Changes in indirect speech In order to understand the changes which may take place when reporting, we must bear in mind that any linguistic utterance is made in a specific context: Somebody says something to someone somewhere sometime. Depending on where, when, by and to whom the original utterance is reported, certain changes may be necessary.
  8. 8. Tense changes in indirect speech Tenses do not change in indirect speech if: 1- The reporting verb is in a present or future tense: Geoffrey: I love you. Geoffrey says he loves me. (the reporting verb say is in present simple) 2- The reported words are always true: Copernicus: The planets move around the Sun. Copernicus discovered that the planets move around the Sun. (it is a general truth) Compare: Once people believed that the Earth was flat. ( the reported words are not true because now we know that the Earth is not flat)
  9. 9. Tenses do not change in indirect speech if; 3- The reported words are true at the time of reporting: George: I’m meeting Karen tomorrow. George said he is meeting Karen tomorrow. (reported on the same day, tomorrow still refers to tomorrow) Compare: George said he was meeting Karen the following day. (reported later, the meeting has already happened)
  10. 10. Tenses do change in indirect speech if; - The reporting takes place later than the reference point of the original utterance , and the reported sentence is out of date. This is usually the case if the reporting verb is in a past tense, except for 2. and 3. above. In the following example, the reference point of the present perfect and present continuous tenses in the original utterance is the time of speaking (1980): Philip to John in 1980: I have never been to Brunei, but I'm thinking about going there. In indirect speech the reference point of the reported sentence remains 1980. However, the reporting takes place later, which means that the reported sentence becomes out of date, and tense changes are necessary: John to Brent in 2003: When I met Philip in 1980, he said he had never been to Brunei, but he was thinking about going there.
  11. 11. - As seen in the example, the verbs in the present perfect and present continuous tenses in the original utterance changed into the corresponding past tenses (past perfect and past continuous) in the reported sentence. This is often described as the sequence of tenses in indirect speech. Yet we can see that the sequence of tenses is based on how tenses relate to each other in general: When I met Philip in 1980, he said he had never been to Brunei. When I arrived at work, I remembered that I hadn't locked the door of my apartment. (two consecutive actions and an earlier action) When I met Philip in 1980, he said he was thinking about going to Brunei. When I entered the room, I saw that she was reading. (two consecutive actions and a background action in progress)
  12. 12. The sequence of tenses: Direct speech Indirect speech present simple past simple present continuous past continuous present perfect past perfect present perfect continuous past perfect continuous past simple past perfect past continuous past perfect continuous past perfect past perfect past perfect continuous past perfect continuous
  13. 13. Note that; * The past perfect and past perfect continuous tenses do not change. * In complex sentences the verb in the time clause may not change; Bill: I was reading a book when I heard the crash. Bill said that he had been reading a book when he heard the crash.
  14. 14. Modal changes in indirect speech Similarly to tense changes, if the reported sentence is still true at the time of reporting, no changes are made. If, however, the reported sentence is out of date, the following changes occur. Original utterance Reported sentence can (present reference) could can (future reference) would be able to may (uncertainty) might May (permission with present reference) was allowed to may (permission with future reference) would be allowed to will would
  15. 15. Original utterance Reported sentence needn’t didn’t need to/didn’t have to must (obligation) had to must (certainty) must could could would would might might mustn’t mustn’t had better had better ought to ought to should should used to used to
  16. 16. Note that some modals (must (deduction), could, would, might, mustn't, had better, ought to, should, used to) do not change. - Time and place expression changes in indirect speech. No changes are made if the reporting takes place at the same time and/or in the same place as the original utterance. Tommy to Keith in Szeged in 1999: I will move here next year. Keith to Nigel in Szeged in 2003: Tommy said he would move here the following year. Keith to Nigel in London in 1999: I’ve just met Tommy in Szeged, and he said he will move there next year. Keith to Nigel in London in 2003: I met Tommy in Szeged four years ago, and he said he would move there the following year.
  17. 17. - Time and place expression changes in indirect speech. Remember that language is always used in a context (in a real life situation), so the changes that may happen to the expressions of time and place are due to the changes in the context (time and place). Always bear in mind the context when applying the following changes. Original utterance Reported sentence tonight that night today that day this week/month/year/semester etc. that week/month/year/semester etc. now then yesterday the day before
  18. 18. Original utterance Reported sentence last night/week/month/year/time etc. the previous night/week/month/year/time etc. tomorrow the next/following day next week/month/year etc. the next/following week/month/year etc. five days/weeks/years etc. ago five days/weeks/years etc. before in five days'/weeks'/years' etc. time five days/weeks/years etc. later
  19. 19. Conditionals and unreal tenses in indirect speech essentially the same as those discussed The rules that apply here are on the previous pages, that is, tense and modal changes occur if the reported sentence is out of date at the time of reporting. Note that, even in this case, some tenses and modals do not change. Zero conditional in indirect speech When reporting a zero conditional, the following tense changes may be applied. Present time "If John is cursing, it means that he is very angry." She said (that) if John is cursing, it means that he is very angry. (if this is a general truth) She said if John was cursing, it meant that he was very angry. (if this refers to a past habit; John may have changed or died since then)
  20. 20. Past time "Julie walked the streets without an umbrella if it was raining." - It was rumored that Julie had walked the streets without an umbrella if it was raining. Here only the tense in the main clause changes. No changes are made in the if-clause as it does not express a condition but functions as a time clause. First conditional in indirect speech When reporting a first conditional, the following tense changes may be applied. "If we leave now, we’ll catch the train." I told him that if we leave now, we’ll catch the train. (if we can still catch the train) I told him that if we left, we’d catch the train. (if the train has already left) Note that; the verb left in the last sentence is in the real past simple tense.
  21. 21. Second conditional in indirect speech When reporting a second conditional, the following tense changes may be applied. Future Time "If you came back tomorrow, I’d be able to help you. " (reference to a possible future) She said if I went back tomorrow, she’d be able to help me. (reported on the same day) She said if I had gone back the next day, she would have been able to help me. (reported days later) Present time "If I had some chalk, I could write on the blackboard." (reference to the present) He said if he had had some chalk, he could have written on the blackboard.
  22. 22. Third conditional in indirect speech When reporting a third conditional, we apply no tense changes. "If they had been more careful, they wouldn't have been killed in the accident", the policeman muttered. The policeman remarked that they wouldn't have been killed in the accident if they had been more careful.
  23. 23. WISH, WOULD RATHER, IT'S (HIGH) TIME in indirect speech When reporting structures such as wish, would rather, it's (high) time etc., the same rules apply as in the case of reporting second and third conditional sentences. "I wish I could talk to him!" Cathy thought. (Present reference) Cathy (thought she) wished she could talk to him. "I wish I could’ve talked to him!" Cathy thought. (Past reference) Cathy (thought she) wished she could’ve talked to him. "I wish I hadn’t gone to that party!" said John. (Past reference) John (sighed he) wished he hadn’t gone to the party. "It’s high time you left," she said to me. She remarked that it was high time I left.
  24. 24. Reporting structures An indirect sentence consists of; a reporting clause and a reported clause: Carol said | that she had never been to Paris. (reporting clause | reported clause) The structure of the reported clause may differ depending on whether the original sentence was a statement, a question or an imperative. Reporting statements reporting clause + that-clause When reporting a statement, a that-clause is usually used after the reporting clause: Tom: I don't know her. Tom told me that he didn't know her. / Tom denied that he knew her. That is often omitted after certain reporting verbs; Tom told me he didn't know her. / Tom denied he knew her.
  25. 25. Examples of reporting verbs which are often used with this structure reporting verbs used with a that-clause add admit agree announce answer argue boast claim comment complain confirm deny doubt estimate exclaim explain fear insist mention observe promise propose remark repeat reply report reveal rumor say state suggest suppose tell warn
  26. 26. Reporting questions Yes No Questions; reporting clause + if/whether-clause (with no inversion) When reporting a yes/no question, if or whether is used, with no inversion. This means that the word order of the reported clause is the same as in statements: David (to Tom): Have you seen The Two Towers? David asked Tom if/whether he had seen The Two Towers. Wh Questions; reporting clause + wh-clause (with no inversion) When reporting a wh-question, the original question word (who, what, when, where, how etc.) is repeated in the reported clause, again with no inversion: Katie: Where do you live? Katie asked me where I lived.
  27. 27. The same structure can be used to report exclamations: John: How funny! John exclaimed how funny it was. Examples of reporting verbs used with the structures above: reporting verbs used in indirect questions ask know remember want to know wonder
  28. 28. Reporting imperatives reporting verb + somebody + to + infinitive When reporting an imperative sentence, we usually use an infinitive structure. Mother: Put away your toys, Johnny. Johnny's mother told him to put away his toys. Examples of reporting verbs which are often used with this structure: reporting verbs used with to + infinitive ask advise beg command forbid instruct invite order remind tell urge warn want
  29. 29. Common reporting verbs; When reporting we usually do not only repeat the words in the original utterance but also express its function. Richard: Hi, how are you? Richard said hi to me and asked me how I was. The reported sentence above is grammatically correct, still it sounds awkward. No one in real life would probably say something like that. Instead of the word-by-word reporting people normally consider the function of the original sentence (greeting) and choose a suitable reporting verb; Richard greeted me. Here are some common verbs which describe a function rather than report original words: accept, admit, advise, agree, comfort, complain, congratulate, greet, interrupt, introduce, invite, remind, suggest, threaten, warn etc.
  30. 30. In this chapter you can find a compilation of reporting verbs which is based not on the mood of the original utterance (declarative, interrogative or imperative), but on the use of the verbs themselves. Note that some of the verbs can be used in several different ways. Reporting verb + TO + infinitive agree, claim, decide, demand, hope, offer, prefer, promise, refuse, threaten etc. Geoffrey: All right, I’ll do it. Geoffrey agreed to do it. Al-Qaida: We have captured two US marines. Al-Qaida claims to have captured two US Marines. Customer: Well, I think I’d rather not buy this car. The customer decided not to buy that car.
  31. 31. - Judge: I want to see the documents. The judge demanded to see the documents. - Susan: I hope I’ll get to the airport in time. Susan was hoping to get to the airport in time. - Joe: I can take you home if you want. Joe offered to take me home. - Spokesman: Well, I would rather not say anything at the moment The spokesman preferred not to say anything. - Jill: I will be on time, I promise. Jill promised to be on time. - Geoffrey: No, I won’t answer any questions about my private life. Geoffrey refused to answer questions concerning his private life. - Young man on the bridge: Don’t come any closer, or else I’ll jump. The disturbed young man threatened to jump off the bridge.
  32. 32. Reporting verb + somebody + TO + infinitive ask, advise, allow, beg, command, encourage, forbid, instruct, invite, order, permit, persuade, prefer, recommend, remind, request, tell, urge, warn, want etc. Customs officer: Please, empty your pockets, madam. The officer asked the woman to empty her pockets. Geoffrey: I think you should visit a specialist. Geoffrey advised me to visit a specialist. Professor Pect: You mustn’t use a dictionary while writing the test. Professor Pect did not allow us to use a dictionary while writing the test. Chris: Please, please, tell me what really happened. Chris begged her to tell the truth.
  33. 33. - Sergeant: Fire! The sergeant commanded the firing squad to shoot. - Uncle: Have you ever thought of starting scuba diving? I guess you’d love it. My uncle encouraged me to take up scuba diving. - Mother to Cecil: You must not talk to Julie again. Cecil’s mother forbade him to talk to Julie again. - Doctor to patients: You should exercise at least 30 minutes a day. The patients were instructed to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. - I: Why don’t you come in for a coffee? I invited him to come inside and have a cup of coffee. - Police to photographers at an accident scene: No pictures! The police ordered the photographers not to take any pictures of the accident scene. - College regulation: Teachers are not to use corporal punishment in the classroom. The rules don’t permit teachers to beat students at this college.
  34. 34. Geoffrey to Julie: Be a vegetarian; it’s better for your health. Julie: But I like bacon! Geoffrey: You don’t know what those pigs have been eating. Julie: Yuck! You’re right. I have never thought about it that way. I won’t eat meat any more. Geoffrey persuaded Julie to become a vegetarian. Health specialist: I think it would be better if people consumed much less fat and sugar. The health specialist would prefer people not to consume so much fat and sugar. Thesis consultant to student: You should read the Thesis Guide before you start your research. The thesis consultant recommended the student to read the Thesis Guide before starting the research.
  35. 35. David: Don’t forget to buy some milk. David reminded me to buy some milk. Sign: Do not take photographs, please Visitors are requested not to take photographs. Teacher to pupils: Open your books at page 10. The teacher told the pupils to open their books at page 10. Mother to child: Don’t tease that dog! It will bite you! The mother warned her child not to tease the dog. Secretary to the President: Now, it’s really high [noglossary]time[/no-glossary] that you handed in your resignation, Sir. The secretary urged the president to hand in his resignation. Boss to secretary: Rewrite this letter. There are far too many mistakes in it. The boss wanted her secretary to rewrite the letter.
  36. 36. Reporting verb + THAT-clause add, admit, agree, answer, believe, claim, complain, confess, confirm, decide, deny, doubt, explain, feel, hope, insist, mention, promise, repeat, reply, say, suggest etc. Employee: …and I would also like to say that so far I haven’t had a negative response to my work. The employee added that up to that point he hadn’t had a negative response to his work. Geoffrey: Yes, I broke the window. Geoffrey admitted that he had broken the window. Chris: Yes, the film was really good, indeed. Chris agreed that the film had been really good. I: Do you feel like coming to the cinema with me? She: Sorry, but you’re not my type. When I asked her out, she answered that I was not her type.
  37. 37. - Rev. Johansson: I think that all humans are born equal. Reverend Johansson believes that all humans are born equal. - Julie to her neighbor's wife: You may not believe me, but I saw your husband with a blonde girl in the disco on Saturday. Julie claimed that she had seen her neighbor with a blonde girl in the disco on Saturday. - Student to his friend: I hate having to write two essays every week. The student complained that he had to write two essays every week. - Julie to her neighbor: Yes, it was me who started that ugly rumor about you. Can you forgive me? Julie confessed that she had started an ugly rumor about her neighbor. - Secretary to a colleague: Yes, that’s right, the meeting is on Tuesday. The secretary confirmed that the meeting was on Tuesday. - Customer: Well, I think I’d rather not buy this car. The customer decided that he wouldn’t buy that car. - Geoffrey: No, I didn’t break the window. Geoffrey denied that he had broken the window.
  38. 38. - Student: I don’t think that we could convince the professor that this is not plagiarism. The student doubted that they could convince the professor that it was not plagiarism. - Jill: I could make fire with an eraser, because my father taught me how, when I was seven. Jill explained that her father had taught her how to make fire with an eraser when she was seven. - Johnny: Well, I think we should back her up in this terrible situation. Johnny felt that they should back her up in that terrible situation. - Chef: I hope nobody will notice that this is not turkey, but pork. The chef was hoping that nobody would notice that it was not turkey, but pork. - Secretary to boss: No, sir. I’m absolutely sure that I shredded those documents. The secretary insisted that she had shredded the documents.
  39. 39. - President to friend: Anyway, I may resign next year. The President casually mentioned that he might resign the next year. - Jill: I will be on time, I promise. Jill promised that she would be on time. - Wife to husband: As I’ve told you before, I do want to invite the Joneses as well. The wife repeated that she insisted on inviting the Joneses as well. - I: Do you feel like coming to the cinema with me? She: Sorry, but you’re not my type. When I asked her out, she replied that I was not her type. - I: Do you feel like coming to the cinema with me? She: Sorry, but you’re not my type. When I asked her out, she said that I was not her type. - Julie: Maybe it was Geoffrey who broke the window. Julie suggested that it might have been Geoffrey who had broken the window.
  40. 40. Reporting verb + THAT-clause with SHOULD + infinitive advise, agree, demand, insist, prefer, propose, recommend, request, suggest, urge etc. Geoffrey: I think you should visit a specialist. Geoffrey advised that I should visit a specialist. Susan: Yes, Harry, you are right. You’d better accept that offer. Susan agreed that Harry should accept that offer. Customer: I want you to give me a full refund! The customer demanded that the company should give him a full refund. Geoffrey: You really must try the new Opel. Geoffrey insisted that I should try the new Opel.
  41. 41. - Howard: I’d rather you came to my party, Susan, and not to Julie’s. Howard preferred that Susan should go to his party. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill proposed that they should go to the sauna. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill recommended that they should go to the sauna. - Employees: Could we have the staff meeting on Tuesday instead, Boss? The employees requested that the staff meeting should be on Tuesday. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill suggested that they should go to the sauna. - Secretary to the President: Now, it’s really high time that you handed in your resignation, Sir. The secretary urged that the president should hand in his resignation.
  42. 42. Reporting verb + THAT-clause with subjunctive advise, agree, demand, insist, prefer, propose, recommend, request, suggest, urge etc. Geoffrey: I think you should visit a specialist. Geoffrey advised that I visit a specialist. Susan: Yes, Harry, you are right. You’d better accept that offer. Susan agreed that Harry accept that offer. Customer: I want you to give me a full refund! The customer demanded that the company give him a full refund. Geoffrey: You really must try the new Opel. Geoffrey insisted that I try the new Opel.
  43. 43. - Howard: I’d rather you came to my party, Susan, and not to Julie’s. Howard preferred that Susan go to his party. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill proposed that they go to the sauna. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill recommended that they go to the sauna. - Employees: Could we have the staff meeting on Tuesday instead, Boss? The employees requested that the staff meeting be on Tuesday. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill suggested that they go to the sauna. - Secretary to the President: Now, it’s really high time that you handed in your resignation, Sir. The secretary urged that the president hand in his resignation.
  44. 44. Reporting verb + noun / gerund (-ING) accuse sy of, admit (to), apologize for, boast about, confess (to), complain (to sy) about, deny, insist on, prohibit, suggest, warn sy about etc. Julie: Geoffrey, it was you who stole my grammar book. Julie accused Geoffrey of stealing her grammar book. Geoffrey: Yes, I broke the window. Geoffrey admitted (to) breaking the window. Groom to bride: I am extremely sorry for being so late. The groom apologized (to his bride) for being so late. Boy to his friend: Well, I am such a cool guy that I’ve swum across Lake Balaton twice. The boy boasted about swimming across Lake Balaton twice.
  45. 45. - Julie to her neighbors: Yes, it was me who started that ugly rumor about your past. Can you forgive me? Julie confessed (to) starting an ugly rumor about the past of her neighbor. - Student to his friend: I hate having to write two essays every week. The student complained (to his friend) about having to write two essays every week. - Geoffrey: No, I didn’t break the window. Geoffrey denied breaking the window. -Wife to husband: I do want to invite the Joneses as well. The wife insisted on inviting the Joneses as well.
  46. 46. -Museum sign: No smoking They prohibit smoking in the museum. Smoking is prohibited in the museum. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill proposed going to the sauna. - Jill: What about going to the sauna tonight? Jill suggested going to the sauna.
  47. 47. Notes: indirect speech Reporting verbs expressing opinion In case of reporting verbs expressing opinion (assume, expect, suppose, think etc.) usually it is the main clause that is negated. I think she won’t come. I don’t think she will come. Impersonal reporting Some reporting verbs can be made impersonal with the personal pronoun it and passive voice , when the agent (the doer) of the action is unimportant, unknown or obvious. These verbs are: agree, announce, believe, claim, confirm, consider, decide, estimate, expect, fear, feel, hope, imply, know, predict, reckon, recommend, report, rumor, say, state, suggest, suppose, think etc. It has been agreed to prohibit smoking in public places. It is rumored that the government will implement new taxes.
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