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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Indirect Speech

    I always confuse on the reported speech, can you help me please.

    For an example: i talk to somebody over the phone. the person tells me that he will call me back .

    He does not call back. i call the no. again and somebodyelse answer the phone. Now what should I say- I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he will call me back or he would call me back or he is going to call me back?

    which one is correct?

    thank you
    MinaK


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    #2

    Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I always confuse on the reported speech, can you help me please.

    For an example: i talk to somebody over the phone. the person tells me that he will call me back .

    He does not call back. i call the no. again and somebodyelse answer the phone. Now what should I say- I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he will call me back or he would call me back or he is going to call me back?

    which one is correct?

    thank you
    MinaK
    Hi MinaK,
    considering you are reporting someone else's words with the reporting verb in the past, It is the case that you should say 'he said he would call me back'
    I hope this helps.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Indirect Speech

    ... or 'he said he was going to call me back' [this emphasizes your feeling of grievance - he said he would, but he hasn't].

    b


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    #4

    Re: Indirect Speech

    AFAIK He said he will call me back is acceptable in such contexts .


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    #5

    Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Humble View Post
    AFAIK He said he will call me back is acceptable in such contexts .
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    ORIGINAL POSTER:

    For [an] example: i talk to somebody over the phone. the person tells me that he will call me back .

    He does not call back. i call the no. again and somebody else answers the phone. Now what should I say- I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he will call me back or he would call me back or he is going to call me back?

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    That's raised an interesting point, Humble. I believe you say this based on the idea that speech with current relevance is often unreported/backshifted. Am I correct in assuming this?

    +++++++++++++++
    ++++++++++++++++++

    I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he will call me back

    I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he is going to call me back.

    I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he would call me back.

    I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he was going to call me back.


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    #6

    Re: Indirect Speech

    Right, Riverkid,
    Thatís what I meant. Surprised you call it an interesting point, nothing revolutionary.
    Or should I view it differently because the callerís dashed hopes are in the past and the current relevance is lost?


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    #7

    Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    ORIGINAL POSTER:

    For [an] example: i talk to somebody over the phone. the person tells me that he will call me back .

    He does not call back. i call the no. again and somebody else answers the phone. Now what should I say- I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he will call me back or he would call me back or he is going to call me back?

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    That's raised an interesting point, Humble. I believe you say this based on the idea that speech with current relevance is often unreported/backshifted. Am I correct in assuming this?

    +++++++++++++++
    ++++++++++++++++++
    The interesting point is this, Humble. In this case we wouldn't use your example because it would/could lead to misunderstanding. What we'd use depends on who mwe were addressing and what the meaning is.

    1. I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he will call me back.

    2. I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he is going to call me back.

    With 1 and 2, using 'will' and 'be going to', there is not the sense intended, [the pique -see defintion below], by MinaK,the original questioner. It sounds quite neutral and the person on the phone would have every reason to expect that the 'you' is simply waiting for the expected call.


    M-W:

    Main Entry: 1pique
    Pronunciation: 'pEk
    Function: noun
    : a transient feeling of wounded vanity : RESENTMENT <a fit of pique>
    3. I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he would call me back.

    4. I talked to your colleague earlier and he said he was going to call me back.

    With 3 & 4, that sense of pique is conveyed [noted by BobK in his reply]. The caller believes that the expected phone call should have been made by now and it hasn't been.

    I think that this clearly illustrates that there is more to direct versus indirect speech to express subtle meanings and nuances.


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    #8

    Re: Indirect Speech

    I think, as long as the person hasn't called back yet, it better to say "he'll call me back". However, it's advisable, according to grammar books, to make the necessary changes in indirect speech, such as changing "will" to "would" and "is" to "was".

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    #9

    Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    With 3 & 4, that sense of pique is conveyed [noted by BobK in his reply]. The caller believes that the expected phone call should have been made by now and it hasn't been.
    I think that this clearly illustrates that there is more to direct versus indirect speech to express subtle meanings and nuances.
    Similarly, I find I sometimes don't backshift in reported speech, where the reported event has yet to happen, because I want to avoid the implication of pique, or that I now don't expect the event to occur.

    MrP


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    #10

    Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Similarly, I find I sometimes don't backshift in reported speech, where the reported event has yet to happen, because I want to avoid the implication of pique, or that I now don't expect the event to occur.
    MrP
    I have noticed and admired this [a reluctance to offend] about you, Mr P.

    Your comments just show even more, to ESLs and ENLs alike, that there is much much more to language than the simple grammar rules, even when the grammar rules are accurately described.

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