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Reported Speech

 
 
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 07:26 am
My teacher said, "We must study hard."

In reported speech, which of the following sentences is correct?

My teacher said that we must study hard. OR
My teacher said that we had to study hard.

Thanks.
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Type: Question • Score: 3 • Views: 4,564 • Replies: 33
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contrex
 
  2  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 08:25 am
Both are OK, but I prefer the first.


tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 08:58 am
@contrex,
contrex wrote:

Both are OK, but I prefer the first.
Thanks, Contrex.
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 09:04 am
@tanguatlay,
123
456
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 09:08 am
@tanguatlay,
Tang there’s a slight difference in meaning. "My teacher said that we must study hard” means she always wants us to, whereas

"My teacher said that we had to study hard.” could imply that over a period of time we had to do so in order to meet some sort of goal but maybe now any progress achieved back then means that today we might slack off a bit

By the way not sure what you mean by “reported speech” as it isn't colloquial

Ignore post #929 above as a2k software doesn’t let you delete an entire inadvertent posting
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 09:47 am
@dalehileman,
Quote:
Tang there’s a slight difference in meaning.


There is no difference in meaning, Dale. But to understand that you first have to understand what reported speech is. The term certainly isn't particularly colloquial - it's a grammar term, but the use of reported speech is very colloquial, though that hardly means that it is limited to speech.

Here's an example of reported speech, me reporting your speech;

Dale told MsTan that there is/was a slight difference in meaning.

You do reported speech every time you tell someone what someone else said.

Quote:
"My teacher said that we had to study hard.” could imply that over a period of time we had to do so in order to meet some sort of goal


That's not an accurate description when it is reported speech. In reported speech we use the past tense form of a verb not to signal an actual/real past situation, but rather, it simply is a signal that we are giving our description of what we believe the person said. We are telling the listener that this is reported speech, not an actual direct quotation.

Dale: By the way not sure what you mean by “reported speech” as it isn't colloquial.

MsTan [to jtt]: What did Dale say, JTT?

jtt: He said, and I quote, "By the way not sure what you mean by “reported speech” as it isn't colloquial." [Direct quotation]

jtt: He said that he wasn't/isn't sure what you mean by “reported speech” 'cause it isn't colloquial. [Reported Speech]






but maybe now any progress achieved back then means that today we might slack off a bit[/quote]
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 09:53 am
@contrex,
Quote:
Both are OK, but I prefer the first.


You prefer the one that illustrates that there is no Sequence of Tenses in English, Contrex?

Of what importance is your preference?
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 10:06 am
@tanguatlay,
Both are correct, MsTan, as is,

My teacher/She said that we have to study hard.

0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 10:11 am
@JTT,
Quote:
Tang there’s a slight difference in meaning.


Quote:
There is no difference in meaning, Dale.
Thank you for that rundown JTT and I’d be first to admit that my familiarity with grammatical terms leaves much to be desired. You’d be right of course in calling both “reported speech”. However differences in sentence construction often entail very slight, subtle differences in meaning. In this case “we must” conveys the idea of continuity whereas “we had to” implies a situation where we were asked to work especially hard on a specific project . In another example,

http://able2know.org/topic/196567-1



JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 10:20 am
@dalehileman,
Quote:
However differences in sentence construction often entail very slight, subtle differences in meaning, eg,


I'm well aware of that, Dale. Without even having looked at your link, I can safely say that you have missed the operative words that came later to "There is no difference in meaning, Dale".

Those are/were,

That's not an accurate description when it is reported speech.

For the reasons I outlined, the most crucial one being that the backshift, which means going back one tense, does not, in any way, hold a meaning of time shift. The change in tense FORM is done in reported speech for one reason only - to signal that it is indeed a report of the speech, not a direct quotation.

contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 11:08 am
If the teacher said "We must study hard" then she is including herself in the group of people who must study hard. Isn't that a little odd?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 12:21 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
then she is including herself .....Isn't that a little odd?
Yes now that you mention it Con. However it’s colloquial practice
0 Replies
 
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 12:24 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
I can safely say that you have missed the operative words
Yes I confess to overlooking such technicalities. However Tang might not make that distinction
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 01:03 pm
@dalehileman,
Quote:
However Tang might not make that distinction


You can safely assume, Dale, that any ESL/EFL student that writes here to A2K to ask a language question knows the grammar and terminology of English better than the totality of all the students within any given US state. Possibly even three or four or maybe even all of them put together.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 26 Aug, 2012 01:04 pm
@contrex,
Quote:
If the teacher said "We must study hard" then she is including herself in the group of people who must study hard. Isn't that a little odd?


Are we sure that we have thought this through before we again shot our mouth off, C?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 11:25 am
@JTT,
Quote:
before we again shot our mouth off, C?
but JTT isn’t that a bit harsh considering that some 20 percent of us don’t use English as mother tongue

http://able2know.org/topic/197055-1
contrex
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 11:31 am
@dalehileman,
dalehileman wrote:
JTT isn’t that a bit harsh


JTT is so camp, it's impossible to see his bleatings as 'harsh'. It's like being savaged by Quentin Crisp (or John Hurt playing him).

JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 11:37 am
@dalehileman,
Quote:
but JTT isn’t that a bit harsh considering that some 20 percent of us don’t use English as mother tongue


Do you consider it "harsh", Dale, because I used 'we'?
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 11:59 am
@contrex,
Con thanks for that word. Even as an erstwhile writer I had never really understood the term

It’s not everyday......

http://onelook.com/?w=camp&ls=a
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Sep, 2012 12:01 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
"harsh", Dale, because I used 'we'?
No JTT as a matter of fact the plural is used colloquially applying to singular matters

Didn’t we have our coffee this morning
 

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