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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Reported speech, She says she likes ice cream.

    Hello

    I have two questions about this rule. I would be grateful for your help.
    We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. (Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell'.) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence:


    • Direct speech: “I like ice cream”.
    • Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.

    We don't need to change the tense, though probably we do need to change the 'person' from 'I' to 'she', for example. We also may need to change words like 'my' and 'your'. If instead of 'say' we use another verb will we have to change the tense?

    And here in this example.,


    • Direct speech: “I like ice cream”.
    • Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream. Why is the reporting verb 'say' in the simple present and not in the simple past?


    Thank you

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Reported speech

    We rarely say it that way.
    One time we might: You are standing next to someone listening to a speaker. You are having a hard time hearing the speaker. "What is she saying?" you ask your friend. "She says that she likes ice cream," he replies.

    Almost always, we change it to the past.
    She said she likes ice cream. (She did then, she does now, and she will in the future.)
    She said she liked ice cream. (We usually shift the verb she used back.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. teechar's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Reported speech

    Sarah18, please correct the information on your profile page.

  4. Newbie
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    #4

    Re: Reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    Sarah18, please correct the information on your profile page.
    When I go to 'my profile' I see the list of my posts only. What information do I need to correct?

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Reported speech

    I am not a teacher.

  6. teechar's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Sarah18 View Post
    What information do I need to correct?
    Your location, for a start.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Reported speech

    She says she likes ice cream and She said she likes ice cream have slightly different meanings.

    The first reports her expressed preference: What does she like for dessert? She says she likes ice cream.

    The second reports something she said. What did she say about frozen treats? She said she likes ice cream.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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