Indirect speech 001

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whl626

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1. " It's impossible for us to finish the work today, " they said.
They said that it was impossible for them to finish the work today.


2. " Rome was not built in a day," she added.
She added that Rome was not built in a day.


3. My mother often says, " When the time comes, you'll know."
My mother often says that when the time comes, we'll know.


4. " The train has been delayed. It will be an hour late," the clerk says.
The clerk says that the train had been delayed. It would be an hour late.


5. " I'm going fishing with some friends next week," he informed me.
He informed me that he was going fishing with some friends the following week.


6. The doctor said, " There's nothing much the matter with you."
The doctor said that there was nothing much the matter with me.


7. " Last night, I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly awakened," she said.
She said that last night she was sleeping soundly when she was suddenly awakened.


8. " We shall let you know the answer next month," the manager told us.
The manager told us that they should let us know the answer the following month.


9. " Most poisonous snakes run away when they see people, " he told them.
He told them that most poisonous snakes ran away when they saw people.


10. I shall tell him, " You have no proof. "
I shall tell him that he has no proof.

Hope all are correct :wink:
 

Casiopea

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3. My mother often says, "When the time comes, you'll know." / My mother often says that when the time comes, we'll know.

=> Why not "if" instead of "when" :?:

7. " Last night, I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly awakened," she said. / She said that last night she was sleeping soundly when she was suddenly awakened.

=> Why the same tense?

8. "We shall let you know the answer next month," the manager told us.
The manager told us that they should let us know the answer the following month.

=> Why not 'would'? :?: Use 'should' for advice.

9. " Most poisonous snakes run away when they see people, " he told them. / He told them that most poisonous snakes ran away when they saw people.

=> 'run away...see'. It's a general truth so keep the tense. :D

10. I shall tell him, "You have no proof. " / I shall tell him that he has no proof.

=> What about? You said you would tell him that he had no proof.
 

RonBee

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Re:
  • 1. " It's impossible for us to finish the work today, " they said.
    They said that it was impossible for them to finish the work today.

Prefer:
  • They said that it is impossible for them to finish the work today.

Re:
  • 4. " The train has been delayed. It will be an hour late," the clerk says.
    The clerk says that the train had been delayed. It would be an hour late.

Prefer:
  • The clerk says that the train has been delayed and that it will be an hour late.

Re:
  • 5. " I'm going fishing with some friends next week," he informed me.
    He informed me that he was going fishing with some friends the following week.

Prefer:
  • He told me that he is going fishing with some friends next week.

Re:
  • 6. The doctor said, " There's nothing much the matter with you."
    The doctor said that there was nothing much the matter with me.

Prefer:
  • The doctor said that there is nothing much the matter with me.
Or:
  • The doctor told me that there is nothing much the matter with me.

:)
 

whl626

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Well, I don't know how the style of English has changed, somehow I try to stick to the rules given. We are advised to change the ' present tense ' into ' past tense ' like the 1) and some other sentences but Ron prefers using the ' present tense ' ?

We are also asked to change ' next week ' into ' the following week ', ' tomorrow ' into ' the following day ' etc. Now, the question is whether we should still stick to those rules ?
 

whl626

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Casiopea said:
3. My mother often says, "When the time comes, you'll know." / My mother often says that when the time comes, we'll know.

=> Why not "if" instead of "when" :?:

7. " Last night, I was sleeping soundly when I was suddenly awakened," she said. / She said that last night she was sleeping soundly when she was suddenly awakened.

=> Why the same tense?

8. "We shall let you know the answer next month," the manager told us.
The manager told us that they should let us know the answer the following month.

=> Why not 'would'? :?: Use 'should' for advice.

9. " Most poisonous snakes run away when they see people, " he told them. / He told them that most poisonous snakes ran away when they saw people.

=> 'run away...see'. It's a general truth so keep the tense. :D

10. I shall tell him, "You have no proof. " / I shall tell him that he has no proof.

=> What about? You said you would tell him that he had no proof.

3. if and when are two different concepts.

7. when two actions took place in the past, we use ' past continous ' on one and ' past tense' on the other

8. changing ' shall ' into ' should ' - follow the rule. But it sounds awkward though :p

9. fully agree :)

10. Yeah, indirect speech indeed !
 

Casiopea

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whl626 said:
Well, I don't know how the style of English has changed, somehow I try to stick to the rules given. We are advised to change the ' present tense ' into ' past tense ' like the 1) and some other sentences but Ron prefers using the ' present tense ' ?

We are also asked to change ' next week ' into ' the following week ', ' tomorrow ' into ' the following day ' etc. Now, the question is whether we should still stick to those rules ?

To my knowledge, the style hasn't changed. :?

Changing 'next week' into 'the following week', and so on is how it's done. :up:

Try this link on Tense and Harmony Sequencing: Click Here. 8)
 

RonBee

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If I said, for example, "Bob told me he is going fishing with some friends the following week" I would probably see some blank stares. As far as I know, people in this country (USA) don't talk that way. In any case, the week following this week would be next week.

:)
 

whl626

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We are on the same wavelength, Ron :). Sometimes I feel uncomfortable to replace eg ' today ' with ' that day ' in indirect speech.

eg They said that it was impossible for them to finish the work ( that day ).

It sounds like it was long time ago.

I'd better try other exercises ;)
 

RonBee

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