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Direct and indirect discourse
When one reports what others have said word for word, this is called "direct discourse." It is generally signalled by the presence of quotation marks:
When one paraphrases the words of others, writing them so as to avoid direct quotation, this is called "indirect discourse."
Indirect discourse entails certain changes:
A. Quotation marks are not used:
direct discourse: He told me, "You're stupid"
B. When the verb in the reported discourse is conjugated, is it generally preceded by "that"; however, the inclusion of "that" is optional
C. Imperative forms, when recounted in indirect discourse, generally become infinitive constructions:
direct discourse: He told me, "Write to me."
direct discourse: I told them, "Get out of here!"
D. When a quotation is put in indirect discourse, care must be taken to verify that verb tenses reflect the change in temporal context:
direct discourse: She said, "I will be on time."
direct discourse: When he called he said, "I am at the airport"
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