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English question

  1. Sep 26, 2004 #1
    i a year ago learnt english. means i have learnt english for 1 year. my teacher said, when using report speech we must change the senctence
    ex: duck: why didn't you say it is true ?
    duck'sfriend repeats duck's words: duck said why you didn't say it is true
    if duck's friend become: duck said why didn't you said ot is true
    which one is correc ????
    thank you
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 26, 2004 #2
    i read some people used english like that, i don't know that true or false.
     
  4. Sep 26, 2004 #3
    So what you are really asking is:

    Which of the following is right?

    1. Duck said why you didn't say it is true.
    2. Duck said why didn't you say it is true.

    English is my third language, so I don't know.

    :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  5. Sep 26, 2004 #4
    Both are right in different ways.

    1. Duck said 'Why you didn't say it is true'. If you remove the 'why' from this sentence it's meaning stays the same. The why is used as a starter to the sentence, normally used in english to show shock or suprise. 'You didn't say it is true' is the main part of the sentence. It is a statement.

    2. Duck said 'Why didn't you say it is true?' This sentence is a question. It is asking if something, what every the subject was about, is true or not.

    As to the answer, kronecker , the 2nd one is correct for your meaning.

    Hope that helps.

    I must say, Recon, you are very good at languages. Three and all good. I wish I could do that. :cry: :smile:

    The Bob (2004 ©)
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2004
  6. Sep 26, 2004 #5

    Gokul43201

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    Okay, I think your question is about reported, or indirect speech. However, the form being used above is actually direct speech.

    To convert it to reported speech, you would write : The duck asked why (insert here the other character, being refered to as 'you') didn't say it is true.

    The word 'you' will be used in reported speech only if the reporting is being done to the person refered to as 'you'. Else, the 'you' must be refered to in third person.

    Let me show you examples of both cases.

    1) If you are reporting the duck's (I assume this refers to the water-bird - despite the context of fantasy required for that - and is not someone's name) words to the person who the duck calls 'you', then you can write : The duck asked why you didn't say it is true.

    2) Let the 'you' refer tosay, a dog. If you are reporting the duck's words to someone other than the dog, or stating it to an unspecified audience, you should write : The duck asked why the dog didn't say it is true.

    Now, unfortunately, due to your choice of example, there is one more level of complexity. This involves the nature of the thing that is not true. If this refers to a thing that is specific to a certain point in time when it was not true, but has, in the future become true, then you should use "why it was not true".

    I know this all looks quite messy and confusing, but a different example would have made things a lot easier.

    The important thing to learn here is that "didn't you" in direct speech changes to "you didn't" or "he/she/it didn't" in reported speech. Here's a different example :

    Electrician to housekeeper : Why did you try to change the bulb by yourself ?

    Direct Speech : The electrician asked the housekeeper, "Why did you try to change the bulb by yourself ?"

    Reported Speech : The electrician asked the housekeeper why she tried to change the bulb by herself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2004
  7. Sep 26, 2004 #6

    Moonbear

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    There's one more form of usage that you might have been asking about.

    Gokul explained the sentence structure if a third person is reporting to Dog about something Duck said about Duck. He also explained the situation if a third person is reporting something said about Dog to someone else (a fourth person).

    You may have been asking about the situation when Dog is telling someone else what Duck said to Dog. In that case, you need to switch to first person usage, and the choice of words will depend on whether Dog is reporting a direct quote or paraphrasing.

    Dog is talking to a third person and using a direct quote: Duck asked me, "Why didn't you say it is true?"

    Dog is talking to a third person and paraphrasing: Duck asked me why I didn't say it is true.

    Depending on the context, changing the verb tense might also be appropriate: Duck asked me why I didn't say it was true.
     
  8. Sep 27, 2004 #7

    Gokul43201

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    Ah, I missed that didn't I ?

    I was positive no one would actually read my post completely. I realized, a little too late that it may have been perhaps a little hard to digest.
     
  9. Sep 28, 2004 #8
    thanks Moonbear and Gokul43201
    i appreciate very for your help.

    i still have another question, i also just learnt that when we are close relationship, we call our love ones names that usually ending with "ney/nie", for example,
    Barbara--> Barbie
    John--> Johnie
    Jane-> Janie
    Kate-> Kittie/Kiddie

    but how say names like :
    Patricia, Neil, Neo, Paul ????? :biggrin:

    thank you for helping me here and there too
     
  10. Sep 28, 2004 #9

    Moonbear

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    I'm not so sure about us using those sorts of names for close relationships, but more for children (it's a diminutive form of the names). Some names just can't be shortened much (my friends tried hard to choose such names for their children so they wouldn't get stuck with nicknames they don't like).

    Patricia = Patty
    Paul = Paulie or Pauley
    I don't know of any diminutive name for Neil, and have never come across the name Neo. It may not be one that translates well.

    Oh, and Kate is already a nickname for Catherine or Katherine. The diminutive would be Katie or Kitty (both are used, Katie is more common).

    John= Johnny

    I think using -y or -ey at the end is more common than -ie

    Some others that may not be as obvious:
    Richard = Ricky
    Peter = Petey
    Elizabeth = Lizzy (other nicknames are Liz or Beth)

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Sep 28, 2004 #10
    Your posts always help, I very much appreciate your help (honestly very practical, sound advice and information contained) all the time, You deserve getting a gold medal in a competitive knowledge race. :biggrin:

    Regards
     
  12. Sep 28, 2004 #11

    Nereid

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    Not wishing to make things too much more confusing, in some local varieties of English (e.g. in Australia), you'll find a great many spoken words with the diminuitive 'ie' ending, e.g. piccie (picture), biccie (biscuit), and the famous barbie (BBQ, aka barbeque). In this case, it is a marker for informality. In the 'home country' (the UK), you find lots of 'lassie' (lassy), 'dearie', etc, which is probably where the useage originated.
     
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