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  1. anhnha's Avatar
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    #1

    could: reported and direct speech

    Auditing firm Deloitte said that this situation could affect the company's solvency in the next 12 months.

    Source: "Shares slide as trading tumbles.", Viet Nam News.

    It is a reported speech. I am wondering what is the direct speech.

    1. This situation can affect the company's solvency in the next 12 months.
    2. This situation could affect the company's solvency in the next 12 months.

  2. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    Either 1 or 2 could have been the direct speech. Number 2 is more likely.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

  3. anhnha's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    I would like to know why #2 is more likely.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    I would like to know why #2 is more likely.
    Because the accountant was talking about a possibility more than an ability.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    I'm wondering how 1 is possible at all.

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    #6

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm wondering how 1 is possible at all.
    1 is grammatically OK, but it's almost certainly not the original.

  6. anhnha's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'm wondering how 1 is possible at all.
    Do you mean that the situation don't have ability to affect something?

  7. Raymott's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    Do you mean that the situation don't have ability to affect something?
    No, I mean that if there's a possibility of something happening in the future, it could happen. "It can happen" sounds completely wrong to me in this context. "It can happen" means something like, "It's happened before, so we know it can happen." I can't see a use for 1.

  8. riquecohen's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: could: reported and direct speech

    Quote Originally Posted by anhnha View Post
    Do you mean that the situation don't have ability to affect something?
    Your verb should agree with the subject and an article is needed. "...the situation doesn't have the ability..."

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