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  1. #1
    Unregistered Guest

    Default If-clause, passive, reported speech

    I actually have three questions, and any help would be much appreciated.

    1. "If this proposal is to be accepted, I will need your help."
    "If this proposal were to be accepted, I would need your help."
    "If this proposal is accepted, I will need your help."

    I understand that the first statement is the 1st conditional and the second sentence is the 2nd conditional. Therefore the first sentence is one I would say if I think the event is more likely to occur than if I say the statement with a second conditional.
    However, what's the difference between the first two statements and the 3rd statement? HOw does "to be + past participle" change the sentence? Does that mean the first two sentences are in passive voice? WHat grammar structure is "to be + past participle" and does it cause a difference in meaning if i just simply use the 3rd sentence instead of the first?


    2. How would you put the above three sentences in reported speech. That is if someone else said those statements to me, and I wish to report it back to a third person, how would the sentence be formed?


    3. In reported speech, from what I know, I understand we report a statement by saying "he said that...." and there is a shift in tense backwards. However sometimes i hear people use reported speech, but they say " he says that...." When do you use "he says that" and when do you use "he said that"



    thank you for any help!

  2. #2
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: If-clause, passive, reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I actually have three questions, and any help would be much appreciated.

    1. "If this proposal is to be accepted, I will need your help."
    "If this proposal were to be accepted, I would need your help."
    "If this proposal is accepted, I will need your help."

    I understand that the first statement is the 1st conditional and the second sentence is the 2nd conditional. Therefore the first sentence is one I would say if I think the event is more likely to occur than if I say the statement with a second conditional.
    However, what's the difference between the first two statements and the 3rd statement? HOw does "to be + past participle" change the sentence? Does that mean the first two sentences are in passive voice? WHat grammar structure is "to be + past participle" and does it cause a difference in meaning if i just simply use the 3rd sentence instead of the first?


    2. How would you put the above three sentences in reported speech. That is if someone else said those statements to me, and I wish to report it back to a third person, how would the sentence be formed?


    3. In reported speech, from what I know, I understand we report a statement by saying "he said that...." and there is a shift in tense backwards. However sometimes i hear people use reported speech, but they say " he says that...." When do you use "he says that" and when do you use "he said that"



    thank you for any help!
    Your questions are interesting!

    Firstly, all three statements are in the passive. (You can always check this by adding “by” plus the agent: e.g. If this proposal is accepted by the other party…)

    Secondly, yes there is a difference in meaning between the first question and the third:

    The first one means, “If we want this proposal to be accepted I will need your help… i.e You could paraphrase it by saying something like: If this proposal has any chance of being accepted, you will have to help me (by modifying it so as to make it acceptable”, for example) .

    The third one means “ if the proposal is accepted, I will need your help after it is accepted.

    (The second one means , “If we wanted this proposal to be accepted I would need your help… i.e You could paraphrase it by saying something like: If this proposal had any chance of being accepted, you would have to help me (by modifying it so as to make it acceptable”, for example) .

    ***
    ? WHat grammar structure is "to be + past participle"

    I don’t think there’s any particular name for this pattern

    ***

    2. How would you put the above three sentences in reported speech. That is if someone else said those statements to me, and I wish to report it back to a third person, how would the sentence be formed?

    -"If this proposal is to be accepted, I will need your help." (Direct speech)

    He said that if this proposal is / was to be accepted, he will/ would need my/our help (reported speech) OR
    He says that if this proposal is to be accepted, he will need my/our help (reported speech)

    -"If this proposal were to be accepted, I would need your help." (Direct speech)

    He said that if this proposal were to be accepted, he would need my/our help.* (reported speech) OR
    He says that if this proposal were to be accepted, he would need my/our help.** (reported speech)

    (The tense remains unchanged in conditional sentences types 2 and 3.)

    "If this proposal is accepted, I will need your help."(Direct speech)
    He said that if this proposal was accepted, he would need my/our help (reported speech) OR
    He says that if this proposal is accepted, he will need my/our help. (reported speech)


    3. In reported speech, from what I know, I understand we report a statement by saying "he said that...." and there is a shift in tense backwards. However sometimes i hear people use reported speech, but they say " he says that...." When do you use "he says that" and when do you use "he said that"

    More often than not you use “he said that”, but there are certain situations where you can (or should or must) use the present simple, including in the reporting clause (he says….)

    You must use the present simple. when telling someone about what you’ve read in a book or newspaper article; or seen (on TV for example***, or in a film)

    You should use “he says” to report information that you’ve heard when you don’t know whether it’s true or not e.g. Peter says you’re going back to Australia. Also to report a general statement about what people say or think
    e.g. “Everyone says that it’s quite safe to drink the water here.”***

    You can use the present simple in the reporting clause (she says) in other situations, for example to relay information: “The teacher says we’ve got to do page 35 for homework.”

    I think that’s about all. You’re obviously very interested in grammar so you might want to buy the books referenced below.



    * See Thomson and Martinet, “A practical English Grammar”, Fourth Edition C.U.P., Sections 229and 310 C
    ** See Martin Hewings, “Advanced Grammar in Use”, C.U.P. 1999, Unit 45B
    *** See Martin Hewings, “Advanced Grammar in Use”, C.U.P. 1999, Units 2D and 46A

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