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  1. learning54's Avatar
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    #1

    Reported Speech. Question.

    Hi Teachers,
    Most of the times a reported speech sentence with the verb 'say' can be like this:
    She said (that) she was sorry.
    I guess this is real English.

    Then, in some books they tell you that you can also write it like this: She said (that) she was sorry (to him). Where (to him) is of course optional.
    In most ordinary usage the verb 'say' changes to 'tell' if you mention the person who heard the message.

    Therefore my question is, since this is true, there is no point to tell my students that with the verb 'said', there's the option to inform about the 'object pro(noun)' preceded by 'to'.
    Do you agree?

    Thanks in advance

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Reported Speech. Question.

    Not really (and incidentally the 'to him' would normally follow the verb). In fact you could use the object pronoun as a distinguishing feature in this pair:
    • She said to him that she was sorry.
    • She told him that she was sorry


    It is true, though, that after 'said' you can omit the 'to him'; if, however, you omit the indirect pronoun after 'tell' you are left with an admittedly not uncommon but nonetheless very basic mistake.

    b

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Reported Speech. Question.

    What they need to remember is that it is perfectly possible to "say" something when you are alone. A simple utterance in an otherwise empty room still constitutes "saying" something.

    You cannot "tell" something if there is no-one there to hear it. There must be a recipient of your speech.

    I said I was hungry. (Perhaps you said this to someone, but perhaps you simply said it, out loud, alone.)
    I said to you that I was hungry. (Now it's clear that you weren't alone and that someone else heard your words.)
    I told you I was hungry. (By using "told" it's clear you were not alone when you spoke so it is important to explain who you "told".)

  4. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Reported Speech. Question.

    It's important to keep reported speech short and simple.

    • She said she was sorry.
    • She told him she was sorry.

    John

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