FCE Grammar Revision

LOS CURSOS DE INGLES GRATIS PREFERIDOS POR LOS HISPANOHABLANTES

 

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Reported Speech - Part 3

 

This is Reported Speech, Third Part. 
You will learn how to report questions, requests and commands; the use  of special reporting verbs for recommendations, offers and refusals, and more...

REPORTED QUESTIONS 

1. Indirect questions are just a special case of reported statements. When the reporting verb is in the past the one-tense back rule applies in the same way. The difference is that we have to change the word order because the reported clause is not a question anymore. If the reported clause uses the auxiliary verb do/did, these disappear. And you must use the conjunction if ( = on the condition that; supposing that).

e.g. She asked, "Do you work on Saturdays?".
She asked me IF I WORKED on Saturdays. (We don't say: She asked me do you work on Saturdays). 

2. If the reported clause has an inverted verb this inversion is reversed.

e.g. He asked, "Can I come?".
He asked me IF HE COULD COME. 

e.g. Helen asked, "Can I make a phone call?".
Helen asked IF SHE COULD MAKE a phone call.

e.g. Jim asked, "Should I buy that book?".
Jim asked IF HE SHOULD BUY that book.

PLEASE, REMEMBER THIS: In colloquial style you can use the conjunction if instead of whether (pronounced as uéder and also translated as "si" in Spanish), but in formal English you must use whether: Jim asked WHETHER HE SHOULD BUY that book (OR NOT). 

3. If the direct question includes a question word (i.e. how, when, where, who, why, etc.) this question word is used in the reported question. If it does not, we use if or whether:

e.g. He asked, "How old are you?".
He asked me how OLD I WAS.

e.g. He asked, "When is she leaving the office?".
He asked when SHE WAS LEAVING the office.

e.g. He asked, "Where can I leave my coat?".
He asked where HE COULD LEAVE his coat.

e.g. He asked, "Who is going to Buenos Aires?".
He asked who WAS GOING to Buenos Aires.

e.g. Julie asked, "Why are you in California?".
Julie asked why I WAS in California.

REPORTED REQUESTS AND COMMANDS 

REQUEST: appeal, petition, asking (pedido, solicitud, requerimiento, in Spanish)
COMMAND: order (orden, in Spanish)

In reported requests and commands we often use the verbs ASK (for requests) and TELL (for commands). However, these verbs are not used in the same way as in reported statements or reported questions, and they are followed by an INFINITIVE STRUCTURE:

STANDARD USE: e.g. She asked, "Do you know them?"  
   She asked me if I knew them.
REQUESTS: She said, "Please, be quiet !!"  
   She asked me TO BE QUIET. (infinitive structure)

STANDARD USE: e.g. He said, "I will come home"  
   He told me he would come.
COMMANDS: He ordered, "Sit down !!"  
   He told me TO SIT DOWN.

Other verbs that use this INFINITIVE STRUCTURE include: 

VERBS English Spanish

advise
command
compel
expect
instruct
invite
order
persuade
recommend
remind
request
urge
warn

give an advice
order 
force, oblige
look forward
give instructions
offer someone an invitation
tell someone to do something
cause someone to do something
give a recommendation
recall someone from memory
ask for
encourage
notify of danger or risk

aconsejar
ordenar
forzar, obligar
esperar
instruir
invitar
ordenar
persuadir
recomendar
recordar a alguien (que haga algo)
solicitar
alentar, estimular
advertir, alertar


RECOMMENDATIONS 

1. Verbs such as SUGGEST, PROPOSE, RECOMMEND are used to make recommendations. If the speaker includes himself/herself in the recommended action, we use the -ING FORM (gerund) in the reported clause:

e.g. Ana suggested, "Why don't we go to the park".
Ana suggested going to the park. (Ana included herself in the suggestion)


2. However, if the speaker does not include himself/herself in the sugg
estion, we use a "THAT" CLAUSE:

e.g. Ana suggested, "Why don't you go to the park".
Ana suggested that I should go to the park. (Ana didn't include herself in the suggestion)


3. With these verbs we can use the present subjunctive (e.g. "go") or should (e.g.: "should go") in the reported clause:

e.g. Ana proposed that we go to the park    or    Ana proposed that we should go to the park

OFFERS AND REFUSALS 

With the verbs OFFER and REFUSE we use the infinitive structure but NO indirect object:

e.g. She said, "Shall I carry your bag, Tommy?".
She offered to carry Tommy's bag.

e.g. He said, "I won't come to the party !!".
He refused to come to the party.

 

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