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    #1

    said the man? the man said?

    Hello, teachers.

    I have a question about the word order:

    1. "I don't want to go out with you tonight," the man said to me.

    2. "I don't want to go out with you tonight," said the man to me.


    I was told in junior high that #2 was the only correct word order,
    but, as a matter of fact, which is more common?


    Thank you very much in advance for your help on this.

    yam

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    #2

    Re: said the man? the man said?

    Quote Originally Posted by yamyam View Post
    Hello, teachers.

    I have a question about the word order:

    1. "I don't want to go out with you tonight," the man said to me.

    2. "I don't want to go out with you tonight," said the man to me.


    I was told in junior high that #2 was the only correct word order,
    but, as a matter of fact, which is more common?


    Thank you very much in advance for your help on this.

    yam
    To me, both #1 and #2 are correct, but #2 is more common.

  1. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: said the man? the man said?

    IMO, #1 is more natural. I would use #2 without "to me", but you would then, of course, somewhat alter the meaning.
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #4

    Re: said the man? the man said?

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    To me, both #1 and #2 are correct, but #2 is more common.
    Please allow me to explain why I think #2 is more common.

    In fact, the most common structure is: The man said to me, "I don't want to go out with you tonight."
    People often use an inverted structure for emphasis. Since #2 is an inverted strructure, I think it is more common between #1 and #2. I'm looking forward to more professional opinions.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: said the man? the man said?

    Quote Originally Posted by maoyueh View Post
    Please allow me to explain why I think #2 is more common.

    In fact, the most common structure is: The man said to me, "I don't want to go out with you tonight."
    People often use an inverted structure for emphasis. Since #2 is an inverted strructure, I think it is more common between #1 and #2. I'm looking forward to more professional opinions.
    #2 is not more common. As charliedeut said, "#1 is more natural".

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