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MelindaR

Which is the correct indirect speech version for the sentence below? She said: “I may spend some more days in Vegas, if the weather is still nice.” a) She said she will spend some more days in Vegas if the weather is nice. b) She said she would spend some more days in Vegas if the weather was nice. c) She said she could spend some more days in Vegas if the weather was nice. d) She said she might spend some more days in Vegas if the weather were nice. I guess it's c or b.

  • 2 years ago
  • 2 years ago

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  1. Bennet
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    'd', says me.

    • 2 years ago
  2. MelindaR
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    'd' seems fine except for ''if the weather were nice''.

    • 2 years ago
  3. Bennet
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    [If] I [were] you, is used formally. It is correct.

    • 2 years ago
  4. jose206
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    I think that is b

    • 2 years ago
  5. keketsu
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    I'm going to go with "D." It's a conditional statement which again requires the subjunctive "were." Also "might" is the closest approximation of "may" in my mind as well.

    • 2 years ago
  6. keketsu
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    I should add to that a little. A conditional statement doesn't necessarily require the subjunctive. The first speaker's sentence is a good example. But the answer choice is a hypothetical that requires "were."

    • 2 years ago
  7. Redwood_Girl
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    The first thing to look at in this shift from direct to indirect speech is the shift in the first verb. may --> will may --> would may --> could may --> might The verbs "will" and "would" and "could" have nothing to do with the original verb, "may." They do not represent shifts in tense, but rather shifts to other verbs. So they are all wrong. The final shift in this list represents a shift in tense: "may" and "might" are the same verb, only in different tenses. "May" is present tense and "might" is past tense. When you shift from direct to indirect speech, you shift also verb tenses. That's the signal (along with the "she said that," because even when the "that" is missing, it's implied) that you are shifting from speech directly quoted to speech reported. You do not change the verb itself, just its tense. That's the first and most basic thing to understand. Now, what about that second verb? In the direct speech, the verb is (singular present) "is." You'd think that in the indirect speech, that verb would then be (singular past) "was" -- and ordinarily, it would. But as others have pointed out, you have a conditional statement here. More than that, you have a subjunctive statement. This becomes very complicated in English, which doesn't have many clear indications of the mood and often repurposes various conditional expressions as a stand-in. The subjunctive expresses something that is contrary to fact (statements that aren't true), something that is wished for, and for a certain set of verbs, what are called "mandative" statements. Let's ignore that last set for now. Statements contrary to fact -- If I were you, . . . If she were here, . . . If we were kings, . . . . And so on. Wishful statements -- I wish I were there. I wish he were here. I wish I were able to do that. I wish he were able to be here. These are so super simple, and this is vastly simplified, but you can see that "was" becomes "were." So back to your original problem. Without any considerations of the subjunctive, just looking at sequence of tense (shifting present to past tense), you'd think you'd have this -- She said she *might* spend some more days in Vegas if the weather *was* nice. But, in fact, because the second statement is a wishful statement (with what would otherwise be the simple past tense), it ought to be this -- She said she *might* spend some more days in Vegas if the weather *were* nice. In subjunctive statements, "was" always becomes "were." There are very few actual verb changes in English for the subjunctive. Most of the time, other sorts of structures -- conditional-like words and phrases -- are used instead, which leads to all sorts of confusion when you try to analyze these things. This is an overly simplified explanation, but I hope it's enough to clarify the original question and its answer.

    • 2 years ago
  8. MelindaR
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    Wow, thank you very much, Redwood. I really appreciate it! Now I understand how the ''was'' becomes ''were'', that was confusing. Thanks!

    • 2 years ago
  9. Redwood_Girl
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    It is confusing . . . we haven't got a clear system any more for the subjunctive in English, and people use it inconsistently. I'm so glad it makes more sense now!

    • 2 years ago
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