INFINITIVE IN INDIRECT DISCOURSE

     

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Try an exercise about reporting verbs here.In the page about reported speech, we talked about how lớn change direct speech ("I love coffee") into reported speech (Seonaid said that she loved coffee), using the verbs 'say', 'tell' & 'ask'. However, we can also use many other verbs khổng lồ report what someone said, lượt thích 'promise', 'warn', 'advise' & 'recommend'.Some of these verbs look a bit more complicated khổng lồ use than 'say' and 'tell', but it's just a question of getting lớn know the verb patterns (or verb structures).(As I'm sure you know, we can often choose if we want lớn use 'that' or not in English. I've put it in brackets () khổng lồ show that it's optional. The meaning is exactly the same if you use 'that' or if you don't use 'that'.)1: SAYLet's look first at the verbs we've already talked about. The basic verb pattern for using 'say' for reported speech is:say + (that) + clauseShe said (that) she had already eaten.(The direct speech for this is "I've already eaten".)2: TELLOn the other hand, with 'tell' we need to use an object, a person who we tell the information to. See also my page about the difference between 'say' & 'tell' here.tell + someone + (that) + clauseI told John (that) I had seen the new film.(The direct speech for this is "I've seen the new film".)When we are reporting orders, we can also use another pattern with 'tell':tell + someone + to lớn + infinitiveShe told the children to lớn go to bed.3: ASKWe use 'ask' to lớn report questions or requests. For questions we use the pattern:ask + someone + if / question word + clauseI asked my boss if I could leave early.She asked them where the station was.For requests we use the pattern:ask + someone + to + infinitiveI asked Lucy lớn pass me the salt.(Remember, my first two examples with 'ask' are no longer real questions, so we use the normal sentence word order. We don't use inversion. We say 'she asked them where the station was', NOT 'she asked them where was the station'. You can read more about this on my page about indirect questions và on my page about reported speech.)Other reporting verbs follow a variety of patterns. I'm afraid there aren't any rules about which verbs follow which patterns. You need khổng lồ learn each one.4: ADVISE* (= Give someone advice. Notice the different spelling for the verb & the noun.)Advise + someone + to lớn + infinitiveShe advised him lớn see a doctor.Advise + (that) + clauseThe staff advise that you carry water at all times.Advise + against + verb-ingI'd advise against leaving early.5: AGREEAgree + to + infinitiveWe agreed khổng lồ meet the following day.Agree + (that) + clauseI agreed that the children could vày their homework later.6: APOLOGISEApologise + (to + someone) + for + verb-ingThey apologised lớn us for being late.She apologised for forgetting the book.Apologise (+ lớn + someone) + for + nounShe apologised for the delay.7: DECIDEDecide + to + infinitiveThey decided to lớn go lớn the cinema.Decide + (that) + clauseThey decided that they would go khổng lồ the cinema.8: ENCOURAGEEncourage + someone + to lớn + infinitiveShe encouraged him khổng lồ take the exam again.The teacher encouraged the students khổng lồ ask questions.9: EXPLAINExplain + (that) + clauseThe teacher explained that the course was finished.Explain + noun + to lớn + someoneShe explained the grammar to the students.NOT: She explained me the grammar.

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Explain + question word + khổng lồ + infinitiveThey explained how to lớn buy a train ticket on the internet.John explained where khổng lồ find the restaurant.Explain + question word + clauseWe explained what the exams would cover.10: INSIST*
Insist + on + verb-ingHe insisted on paying.Insist + (that) + clauseHe insisted that we sit down.11: PROMISEPromise + lớn + infinitiveHe promised lớn arrive early.Promise + (someone) + (that) + clauseI promised him that I wouldn't vị it again.12: RECOMMEND*Recommend + verb-ingI recommend visiting the British Museum while you're in London.Recommend + (that) + clauseI recommend that you visit the British Museum13: REMINDRemind + someone + to + infinitiveShe reminded him khổng lồ take his keys.Remind + someone + (that) + clauseThey reminded me that there is a các buổi tiệc nhỏ tonight.14: SUGGEST*Suggest + verb-ingI suggest leaving soonSuggest + (that) + clauseI suggest that you come as soon as you can.NOT: I suggest him to come.15: WARNWarn + someone + (not) + khổng lồ + infinitiveI warned them not to lớn go in the water.Warn + someone + about + somethingShe warned us about the dangerous roads.NegativesTo make the verbs that we have reported negative, we need to lớn look at the verb pattern:When there's a clause, we make the negative in the usual way: She said that she didn't like ice cream.When there's 'to + infinitive', we generally put 'not' before 'to': He promised not khổng lồ do it again.When there's 'verb-ing', we generally put 'not' in front of it: I advise not taking the bus.Try an exercise about reporting verbs here.* Advanced PointIn formal English, some verbs that are followed by '(that) + clause' use the infinitive instead of a present tense verb. Some people suggest that this is a kind of subjunctive in English. You only need khổng lồ worry about this in very formal writing. Mostly, this doesn't make a difference, because the present simple form in English is often the same as the infinitive form. But when the subject is 'he', 'she' or 'it' or when the verb is 'be', we can see it clearly.I advise that he go lớn bed early. (Normally we'd expect: I advise that he goes lớn bed early.)I insist that she come now. (Normally we'd expect: I insist that she comes now.)They suggested that the cats be put in the garden for the night. (Normally we'd expect: They suggested that the cats are put in the garden for the night.)

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