lundi 25 août 2014

Top Tips Grammar: Other report structures

Main points

*When reporting an order, a request, or a piece of advice, the reported clause is a ‘to’- infinitive clause, used after an object.
*When reporting a question, the reported clause is an ‘if’- clause or a ‘wh’- word clause.
*May reporting verbs refer to people’s thoughts and feelings.


a) If you want to report an order, a request, or a piece of advice, you use a ‘to’- infinitive clause after a reporting verb such as ‘tell’, ‘ask’, or ‘advise’. You mention the hearer as the object of the verb, before the ‘to’- infinitive clause.

advise command invite remind
ask forbid order tell
beg instruct persuade warn

- Johnson told her to wake him up.
- He ordered me to fetch the books.
- He asked her to marry him.
- He advised me to buy it.

If the order, request, or advice is negative, you put ‘not’ before the ‘to’- infinitive.

- He had ordered his officers not to use weapons.
- She asked her staff not to discuss it publicly.
- Doctors advised him not to play for three weeks.

If the subject of the ‘to’- infinitive clause is the same as the subject of the main verb, you can use ‘ask’ or ‘beg’ to report a request without mentioning the hearer.

- I asked to see the manager.
- Both men begged not to be named.


b) If you want to report a question, you use a verb such as ‘ask’ followed by an ‘if’- clause or a ‘wh’- word clause.

- I asked if I could stay with them,
- They wondered whether the time was right.
- He asked me where I was going.
- She inquired how Ibrahim was getting on.

Note that in reported questions, the subject of the question comes before the verb, just as it does in affirmative sentences.


c) Many reporting verbs refer to people’s thoughts and feelings but are often used to report what people say. For example, if someone says ‘I must go’, you might report this as ‘She wanted to go’ or ‘She thought she should go’.

Some of these verbs are followed by:

*a ‘that’- clause

accept fear imagine think
believe feel know understand
consider guess suppose worry

- We both knew that the town was cut off.
- I had always believed that I would see him again.

* a ‘to’- infinitive clause

intend plan want

- He doesn’t want to get up.

* a ‘that’- clause or a ‘to’- infinitive clause

agree forget regret
decide hope remember
expect prefer wish

- She hoped she wasn’t going to cry.
- They are in love and wish to marry.

‘Expect’ and ‘prefer’ can also be followed by an object and a ‘to’- infinitive.

- I’m sure she doesn’t expect you to take the plane.
- The headmaster prefers them to act plays they have written themselves.


d) A speaker’s exact words are more often used in stories than in ordinary conversation.

- ‘I knew I’d seen you,’ I said.
- ‘Only one,’ replied the Englishman.
- ‘Let’s go and have a look at the swimming pool,’ she suggested.





Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B


See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions


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