Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Mar 2012
    • Posts: 250
    #1

    "this/that" in reported speech

    I've got a question to turn into reported speech and it's out-of-date reporting:
    "Who is this man?" the old lady asked her husband.

    According to what I've learned about "this/that" + noun in reported speech, it should be:
    The old lady asked her husband who the man was.

    Is this correct?

    The key to the exercises says:
    The old lady asked her husband who that man was.
    So they apply the rule for "this" in time expressions.

    I'm confused.

    Same problem with:
    "Do you have this in a smaller size?" she asked the shop assistant.

    I would change it like this:
    She asked the shop assistant if she had it in a smaller size.


    But the key again says:
    She asked the shop assistant if they had that in a smaller size.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #2

    Re: "this/that" in reported speech

    The word "this" refers to something that is close to us in physical space or time. 'That" can be used for things that are distant from us in physical space or time. These differences are relative, however. I would accept both of your versions using "the"
    and "it".

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Mar 2012
    • Posts: 250
    #3

    Re: "this/that" in reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    The word "this" refers to something that is close to us in physical space or time. 'That" can be used for things that are distant from us in physical space or time. These differences are relative, however. I would accept both of your versions using "the"
    and "it".
    What would be your natural choice, as a native speaker, in such situations? Let's say they are being reported later, in different place and at different time.

    "Who is this man?" the old lady asked her husband.
    "Do you have this in a smaller size?" she asked the shop assistant.

    1. She asked the shop assistant if she had it in a smaller size.
    The old lady asked her husband who the man was.

    2. She asked the shop assistant if they had that in a smaller size.
    The old lady asked her husband who that man was.

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #4

    Re: "this/that" in reported speech

    To tell you the truth, I don't see much difference. I could say either and probably have.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] Use of "Which" in reported speech
    By angel_sandie in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 28-Jun-2012, 08:51
  2. Is it reported speech if it begins with "didn't say"
    By HomerBong in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-May-2012, 21:35
  3. any activity for "reported speech"?
    By Mehrgan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Oct-2009, 13:28
  4. [Grammar] "Recently" in reported speech?!! PLZ!
    By Mehrgan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 17-Aug-2009, 22:30
  5. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 28-Feb-2009, 15:38

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •