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Minggu, 12 Februari 2012

question and Reporting verb

Wh- Question Clauses

Changing wh- questions to reported speech

reported speech = indirect speech = embedded speech

Quoted vs. Reported Questions
QUOTED WH-QUESTION REPORTED WH-QUESTION

We restate quoted speech using the exact words. Quotation marks enclose the comment.

When we repeat a wh-question that someone has asked, we place the quoted words within another clause. (We subordinate the clause within a main clause.) The quoted question adjusts to the time and location of the main sentence. The pronoun, verb tense and adverbs adjust to the speaker's point of view. A subordinator such as who, what, where, when or how joins the reported speech.

MAIN CLAUSE

My friend said,

QUOTED SPEECH

"How are you?"

MAIN CLAUSE

My friend asked

REPORTED SPEECH

how I was (pronoun & tense adjustment)

My friend asked,

"Where have you been?"

My friend asked

where I had been. (pronoun & tense adjustment)

My friend asked,

"What have you been doing?"

My friend asked

what I had been doing. (pronoun & tense adjustment)

My friend asked,

"When are you coming here?"

My friend asked

when I was going there. (pronoun, tense & location adjustment)


Subordinating a Wh-Clause
SENTENCE TRANSFORMATION INDEPENDENT CLAUSE SUBORDINATED QUESTION

1. Remove comma, quotes and question mark.

My friend said,

"How are you"?.

2. Change said to asked

My friend asked

"How are you".

3. Join the clauses using: how, who, whom, where, when,or why

My friend asked

how are you.

4. Adjust point of view of 1) pronoun to speaker's P.O.V.; 2) 2nd verb to time frame of 1st verb .

how was I.

5. Put the subject before the verb.

My friend asked

how I was.
moveoverswitch subj and aux verb

Verb Tense Adjustment
QUESTION – VERB TENSE EMBEDDED VERB TENSE

The verb tense in the noun clause adjusts (backshifts) to the point of view of the speaker. If the speaker is speaking in the past about an earlier past event, the past perfect may be used in the noun clause to emphasize the difference in time. Past perfect is not used if the time relationship is clear already.

An exception to this verb adjustment occurs when using a verb that expresses a general truth, something that exists, or is timeless, such as states of being , states of possession or mental states. In these cases, the verb remains in its present tense form.

PRESENT

"How are you? "

PAST

She asked how I was.
moveoverswitch subj and aux verb

PRESENT PROGRESSIVE

"Where are you going?"

PAST PROGRESSIVE

She asked where I was going.

PAST

" Whom did you call?"

PAST PERFECT

She asked whom I called / had called.

PAST PROGRESSIVE

" Whom were you calling?"

PAST PROGRESSIVE

She asked whom I was calling.

PRESENT PERFECT

" Where have you been?"

PAST PERFECT

She asked where I was / had been.

PRESENT PERFECT PROGRESSIVE

" How have you been doing?"

PAST PROGRESSIVE OR PAST PERFECT PROGRESSIVE

She asked how I was doing / had been doing.

PRESENT

"How hot is the sun?" (general truth)
COMPARE: "How hot is the weather today?" (at the moment)

"What do you think?" (permanently)
COMPARE: "What are you thinking?" (at the moment)

PRESENT OR PAST

She asked how hot the sun is. (general truth)
She asked how hot the weather was. (at the moment)

She asked what I think. (permanently)
She asked what I was/ *am thinking. (at the moment)

General Truth – The simple present tense is used to state fact, how things exist or behave. The verb in a noun clause stays in present tense to express mental states and attitudes such as —thinks, recognizes, understands — which are more permanent than what a person —is thinking,is recognizing, is understanding — which are more temporary and "at the moment". See Stative Verbs

Related pages: Same Time vs. Earlier Agreement | Formal vs. Informal Agreement

Ask Synonyms
SYNONYM MEANING SENTENCE

ask

request information or something

My neighbor asked who my gardener is. (general truth)

inquire

request information (formal)

Mr. Smith inquired how my family was.

question

settle doubt

My instructor questioned who had done my homework.


Also see: Said Synonyms

Subordinate Wh-Questions

Adding a personal comment

QUOTED WH-QUESTION COMMENT WITH WH-QUESTION

In a WH-question, the question word becomes the pronoun that joins the clause to a main sentence.

The quote can be placed within a statement. The speaker restates the quote and adds a personal comment. The same tense, pronoun and adverb changes need to be applied.

"Where did he go?"

I don't know where he went. (Adjust verb to past tense.)
Where he went is a mystery to me.

"How long were you there?"

I can't remember how long I was here. (Adjust adverb: there – here.)
How long I was here is something I can't remember.

"Which way shall we turn?"

I have no idea which way we should turn.
Which way we should turn is something I can't answer.

"What time is it?"

Can you tell me what time it is?
What time it is, is a mystery to me.

"Where are you tonight?"

He couldn't tell me where he was that night. (Adjust adverb: tonight – that night.)
Where he was that night was something he couldn't tell me.

"Who is she?"

Do you happen to know who she is. (Adjust adverb – there-here.)
Who she is, is a question I can't answer.

"Why are you always late?"

She couldn't answer why she is always late. (Do not change verb tense for "general truth".)
Why she is always late is a mystery to her.

Related page That/What Clauses | Adjusting perspective

Common Mistakes
ERROR FIX

The man asked what time is it. (This is a common error of native speakers as well)

The man asked what time it was.

She asked where are we going for lunch.

She asked where we were going for lunch. (asking plans)
She asked where to go for lunch. (asking instructions)

Embedded Wh-Questions

Shortened to with an infinitive

Commenting on a Means or Method Question
REQUESTING INSTRUCTIONS COMMENTING ON REQUEST

In a WH-question that asks means or method (instructions), should or could is commonly used.

The verb can be shortened to an infinitive (to + verb) in an embedded statement on means or method of doing something (instructions).

"Where should I go?"

I don't know where to go.
I don't know where you should go.

"How do you use an encyclopedia?" method

I can't remember how to use an encyclopedia.
I can't remember how I should use an encyclopedia.

"Which way shall we turn?"

I have no idea which way to turn.
I have no idea which way we should turn.

"What time should we leave?"

Can you tell me what time to leave?
Can you tell me what time we should leave?

"Where can I find a pharmacy?"

He couldn't tell me where to find a pharmacy.
He couldn't tell me where I could find a phramacy.

"Who shall we invite?"

Let's decide who to invite.
Let's decide who we should invite.

"Why should we be late?" (This question asks about plans.)

She couldn't answer why to be late. (This is not a statement of means or method.)

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