104. The basic template for reported speech (2)
In the previous Column, I discussed the basic template for reported speech.
In this Column, I will change it slightly, as follows:
PERSON + COMMUNICATING VERB + PERSON + JOINING WORD + PERSON + VERB TENSE
The reason that PERSON + VERB TENSE has an arrow below which points to WORD ORDER is because this reminds us that in reported questions we have a change in word order (see Columns 86 and 87), as the following shows:
1) Joan: "Where (1) do (2) you (3) live."
> Joan asked me where (2) I (1/3) lived. (X ... where (1) did (2) I (3) live)
2) Jim: "(1) Do (2) you (3) live in Osaka?"
> Jim asked me if (2) I (1/3) lived in Osaka.
> Jim enquired of me if (2) I (1/3) lived in Osaka.
3) Bill: "(1) Is (2) the dog (3) your dog."
> Bill asked me if (3) the dog (1) was (2) my dog.
> Bill wanted to know if (3) the dog (1) was (2) mine.
4) Fred: "(1) Are (2) you Japanese?"
> Fred asked me if (2) I (1) was Japanese.
This template should be used as the basic guide for reported speech. For example, if you are writing English, and want to check the correctness of a sentence you have written in reported speech, use this template.
・as follows: 次のように
・point to ～: ～の方を指す
・remind A that ...: Aに…を気づかせる、思い出させる
・the following: 次のこと
Reported speech is certainly not easy (see Columns 86 and 87). It seems to require a large amount of effort and mental processing in order to even make a simple sentence in reported speech.
The fact is that the learner has to juggle many items at the same time.
One way of practising and checking the accuracy and one's reported speech sentences is to follow a template. Here is the basic template of reported speech:
PERSON + COMMUNICATING VERB + PERSON + JOINING WORD + PERSON + VERB (TENSE)
We can put this template into words by saying:
A sentence in reported speech has a subject (a person) who uses a verb of communication in order to tell something to another person; and the clause that is in reported speech starts with a joining word, and is then followed by a person and another verb; the tense of this final verb is often changed according to the rules of reported speech.
Here are some example sentences based on this template:
1) John: "I am tired."
> John told me that he was tired.
> John mentioned to me that he was tired
2) Mary: "You should go to bed earlier."
> Mary said to me that I should go to bed earlier.
> Mary told me to go to bed earlier.
5) Meg: "Do it like this."
> Meg advised me how to do it.
> Meg advised me that I should do it like this.
> Meg suggested to me how I should do it.
> Meg suggested to me that I should do it like this.
3) Peter: "Do it."
> Peter ordered me to do it.
> Peter said to me that I had to do it.
4) Chris: "Go there."
> Chris told me to go there.
> Chris told me where to go.
It is easier to see how this template works if we arrange some of the above sentences like this:
PERSON + COMMUNIC. VERB + PERSON + JOINING WORD + PERSON + VB.(TNS)
to do it
should do it
to go there
Of course, this template does not fit every case; in some of the above examples there are empty spaces in the template. And also, as readers are well aware, there can be optional omissions in the template:
John told (me) (that) he was tired.
In Columns 15 and 16, I wrote about one grammatically incorrect use of "were". Let us look at another use of "were", which I also think is incorrect.
I have simplified the original sentence, but it was like this:
She told the press that her supporters would continue the campaign even if she were arrested.
We can certainly understand the temptation of the writer to use "were". After all, "if" comes before, so it seems natural to use "were".
However, we can imagine that her actual words to the press were something like this:
"My supporters will continue the campaign even if I am arrested."
The that-clause in the original sentence is an example of reported speech. The rules of reported speech, based on the original sentence, are as follows:
"my supporters" > her supporters
"will continue" > would continue
"I" > she
"am arrested" > was arrested (NOT were arrested)
Therefore the correct English would be:
She told the press that her supporters would continue the campaign even if she was arrested.
As I pointed out in Columns 15 and 16, there is a tendency to use "were" in place of "was" since it sometimes seems more elegant.
・reported speech: 間接話法
・the temptation of A to do: Aが～したいという誘惑
・a tendency to do: ～する傾向
・in place of: ～の代わりに