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    #1

    Reported speech - could have done

    How should I report 'could have done'? I have a sentence: 'The neighbours' children could have destroyed our flowers', said Mrs Grant. Mrs Grant suspected...
    Should it be: 'Mrs Grant suspected that the neighbours' children could have destroyed her flowers' or 'Mrs Grant suspected that the neighbours' children had destroyed her flowers'?

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Reported speech - could have done

    I'd go for the first option. The second one implies she knows they destroyed the flowers.

    However, the use of "destroy" here doesn't sound quite right to me here. I'm still thinking for a more suitable possibility.

    charliedeut

    PS: Maybe "trod on" or "stomped" would fit better in here.
    Last edited by charliedeut; 20-Aug-2012 at 14:49. Reason: Added PS
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Reported speech - could have done

    Or simply don't change it:
    Mrs Grant said that the neighbours' children could have destroyed the flowers.

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