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  1. Newbie
    Interested in Language
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    #1

    Say vs. Tell

    Hello!

    I find in a grammar book an activity for reported speech which consists in spotting a mistake in a sentence and proposing the correct version of it. The sentence in question is:

    "Our teacher said to us that the test was quite easy." The key shows as the right answer: "Our teacher told us that the test was quite easy."
    I don't quite understand why "said to us" is wrong. Could you help me with this?

    Thanks and best regards.

    Julia

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    #2

    Re: Say vs. Tell

    NOT A TEACHER
    Both sentences are correct. I'm pretty sure your grammar book made a mistake. Which grammar book did you use?
    Please notify me of any mistakes in my posts. It is much appreciated.

  2. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: Say vs. Tell

    Thanks! I supposed so. The book is Grammar Way 2 by Dooley and Evans.

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    #4

    Re: Say vs. Tell

    NOT A TEACHER
    I've checked your book. That's definitely a mistake. My only guess is that the authors meant to write the question sentence without "to", but ended up writing the correct one.
    Happy studying!
    Please notify me of any mistakes in my posts. It is much appreciated.

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    #5

    Re: Say vs. Tell

    The version with told is much more natural to me.

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    #6

    Re: Say vs. Tell

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Hello, Julia:

    I just thought that you might like this information from a famous book that is used by teachers and advanced students throughout the world.

    1. The four scholars say that the following is direct speech (my emphases):

    David said to me after the meeting, "In my opinion, the arguments in favor of radical changes in the curriculum are not convincing."

    2. The four scholars say that the following is indirect speech (my emphases):

    "David said to me after the meeting that in his opinion the arguments in favor of radical changes in the curriculum were not convincing."

    3. The four scholars say that the following is also indirect speech. They point out that it is a paraphrase (that is to say, one uses different words to express the same idea). (My emphases)

    "David told me after the meeting that he remained opposed to any radical changes in the curriculum."



    James


    Source: Randolph Quirk et. al, A COMPREHENSIVE GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (1985 edition), page 1021.
    Last edited by TheParser; 14-Sep-2014 at 16:46. Reason: deleted word

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