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  1. #1
    Tan Elaine is online now Key Member
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    Default Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Mary said, "I am fat."

    When reporting what Mary said is it necessary to use 'that' or is it optional? Should 'that' be included when one is sitting for an English exam?

    Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Afit is offline Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Mary said (that) she is fat.

    In reported speech, the word that is often used after said, but that is optional.

    Quoted Speech, Reported Speech, and Quotation Marks for writing English on My English Teacher and MyEnglishTeacher.net

  3. #3
    ysc1230 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    I wonder if "Mary said (that) she is fat." is correct.

    Should we rewrite as "Mary said she was fat."?

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    As Mary is still fat, you can use either is or was.

    Rover

  5. #5
    Afit is offline Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by ysc1230 View Post
    I wonder if "Mary said (that) she is fat." is correct.

    Should we rewrite as "Mary said she was fat."?

    Thanks.
    If the truth of the reported statement, that "she is fat", still applies at the moment of reporting, resort to backshifting is optional.

    Mary said she is fat.
    Mary said she was fat.

    Some dyed-in-the-wool prescriptivists will disagree with me.

  6. #6
    bagzi94's Avatar
    bagzi94 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    As Mary is still fat, you can use either is or was.

    Rover
    What about Present Perfect: Mary said that she has been fat.

  7. #7
    Afit is offline Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by bagzi94 View Post
    What about Present Perfect: Mary said that she has been fat.
    Fine.

    She said that yesterday, and she started becoming fat last year.

  8. #8
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Afit View Post
    Fine.

    She said that yesterday, and she started becoming fat last year.
    Only if she says that she has been fat since last year.

  9. #9
    ysc1230 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Thank all teachers.


    In my mind, as reported speech is used to reporting someone conversation, then I need not consider whether the statement is still true.

    Therefore, I think I should report the statement to others by using past tense.

    1. Mary said "I am fat". ->> Mary said she was fat.
    Last edited by ysc1230; 10-Sep-2011 at 04:00.

  10. #10
    Afit is offline Member
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    Default Re: Mary said (that) she is fat.

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Only if she says that she has been fat since last year.
    I thought is was obvious from my sentence.

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