She said,''I like clouds in the sky

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She said,''I like clouds in the sky'' change into indirect forms of speech

asked Jun 18 '13 at 13:00 Sheheryar abbas New member

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First of all, it must be the clouds in the sky, because without the article "the", you are suggesting that there are other clouds which are NOT in the sky.  You could say it more simply: I like clouds.  The reported-speech version would be She said (that) she liked clouds. Because she probablly still likes clouds at the moment her speech was reported, She said (that) she likes clouds would also be correct.

link answered Jun 18 '13 at 13:04 Shawn Mooney Expert

Shawn, I am amazed that the sentence makes no sense to you. Why, only last week I was in an art gallery and overheard a renowned critic declare, after examining a landscape under a clear azure sky: "Personally....I like clouds in the sky".

Michael CranfieldJun 18 '13 at 18:56

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The absence of the article could also imply that she liked CLOUDS in the sky and not FISH, for example. It is irregular not to revert to 'one tense back' for the reported speech - in this example, using the past simple is regular and correct. Since the speech is reported, the tense shouldn't be in the present simple.

link answered Jun 18 '13 at 13:29 Ahmad Barnard Expert

Please suggest a meaningful context where clouds, but not fish, are liked in the sky? And I completely disagree with you about always having to revert back one tense if the statement is still true now, or generally true.

Shawn MooneyJun 18 '13 at 15:28

I think Ahmad's first sentence agrees with the first sentence in your spans wear, Shawn. You are both pointing out that it doesn't make sense without "the" before clouds. I like clouds in the living room. I like fish in the sky.

Patty TJun 18 '13 at 17:50

Ah... Auto correct. "In your spans wear" is supposed to be "in your answer."

Patty TJun 18 '13 at 17:50

Patty - you're right. Shawn missed my point and my (failed?) attempt at introducing some humour. Shawn - whether you agree or disagree with my point about going 'one tense back' is quite irrelevant. I argued that it is regular to do so but certainly not a sine qua non. Context is king, surely we all know this. Would you prefer to argue against my 'one tense back' rule?

Ahmad BarnardJun 19 '13 at 13:53

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