The General Notion

Direct Speech is a form of utterance in which the exact words of the speaker are given in writing.

I live in Uman. He said, ‘I live in Uman.’

Direct speech and the punctuation marks such as commas (,), full stops (.), question marks (?) and exclamation marks (!) are enclosed in quotation marks or inverted commas which can be single (‘…’) and double (“…”).

· Direct speech is separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. If it comes at the beginning of the sentence, the comma is used inside the quotation marks. If it comes after the reporting verb, the comma is The General Notion used outside the quotation marks.

‘She came back yesterday,’ he said.
She came back yesterday.
He said, ‘She came back yesterday.’

· If direct speech is interrupted, the first comma is used inside the quotation marks and the second comma – outside.

I’ll help her if she comes and asks me. ‘I’ll help her,’ he said, ‘if she comes and asks me.’

· If direct speech ends with a question mark or an exclamation mark, commas are not used.

Where do you live? ‘Where do you live The General Notion?’ he asked.
It’s such a hot day! ‘It’s such a hot day!’ she exclaimed.

· Two types of quotation marks should be used if there is ‘a quote within a quote’. If double quotation marks are used outside, single quotation marks are used inside and vice versa.

E.g. Mary said, “When I was leaving I heard Mrs Johnson say ‘Will you stay behind after classes to talk, Sue?’.”

Mary said, ‘When I was leaving I heard Mrs Johnson say “Will you stay behind after classes to talk, Sue?”.’

· In printed dialogues each new speech enclosed in the The General Notion quotation marks begins on a new line in a new paragraph. Though we do not use the quotation marks in scripts for plays.

E.g. ‘Stop!’ said the police officer holding up his hand.

‘What’s the matter?’ asked the surprised driver.

‘Why are you driving on the right side of the road, sir?’

‘What? Should I drive on the wrong side?’

‘Well, you are driving on the wrong side, sir.’

‘But you said that I was driving on the right side.’

‘That’s so. You are on the right side, and that’s wrong.’

Police officer (holding up The General Notion his hand): Stop!

Driver: What’s the matter?

Police officer: …

Driver: …

· The usual direct speech patterns are:

- Subject + reporting verb, + ‘direct speech’

E.g. He said, ‘I passed my exam.’

- ‘Direct speech,’ + subject + reporting verb

E.g. ‘I passed my exam,’ he said.

- ‘Direct speech,’ + subject + reporting verb, + ‘direct speech’

E.g. ‘I passed my exam,’ he said, ‘though it was complicated.’

Inversion is possible if the subject is a long one (reporting verb + subject).

E.g. ‘I passed my exam,’ said the student running down the corridor.

Inversion with the pronoun subject (subject expressed by the pronoun) is The General Notion rare in Modern English.

NOTE 1. Some reporting verbs which require an object after them cannot be inverted. These verbs are as follows: to assure, to convince, to inform, to instruct, to notify, to remind, to tell, etc.

E.g. ‘They are arriving tomorrow,’ Julia reminded me.

Indirect(Reported)Speech is a form of utterance in which the words of the speaker are reported.

E.g. Julia reminded me that they were arriving the next day.

E.g. Westminster Government minister Dr Kim Howells visited one of his favourite places recently when he spoke in Tenby at a meeting of the Tenby and Saundersfoot branch of the Labour Party.

Dr Howells, MP for Pontypridd, recalled childhood visits to the resort when the journey form Aberdare took four hours. As transport minister The General Notion, he was pleased to note that the journey had greatly improved!

His large and attentive audience enjoyed a stimulating 40-minute speech.

(Western Telegraph)

Christ, what had he come to? Where had he gone wrong? What was the moment it had all turned sour? … There were so many moments, so many times when he seemed to have made the wrong move.

(Eric Clark, Hide and Seek)

NOTE 2. Tense, time and place changes should be made considering the situation. Our choice often depends on the relationship of the reported speech to the time and place of reporting it The General Notion. If we report something on the day or at the place it is said, tense, time and place can remain unchanged. But if reporting takes place some time later, rules of tense, time and place changes should be observed.

E.g. Mary says/said (that) she will come to see us tomorrow. (Sunday)
I will come to see you tomorrow. (Sunday)
On Sunday Mary said (that) she would come to see us the next day.(Monday)

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