reporting verbs with that, wh- and if clauses

 

Reporting verbs with that clauses:

Some verbs introduce a report, an idea or a summary. These verbs have the pattern:

N + V + (that) + clause

When we want to say what someone says or thinks we can use a clause with that;

He said that I had to see a doctor.
I thought that he was being silly.

We can leave out the word that:

He said I had to see a doctor.
I thought he was being silly.

With some verbs we can mention the hearer as the object of the verb:

She reminded him that it was time to go.
He told me he was a friend of yours.

These verbs have the pattern;

N + V + N + (that) + clause.

Reporting verbs with wh- and if clauses

Some verbs introduce summaries, reports, questions or problems:

She explained what we had to do.
He asked if I was ready
I didn’t know what to do.

These verbs have the pattern:

N + V + wh- + clause:
She wondered where she was.

or

N + V + if + clause:
Ken asked if we wanted to go.

With some verbs we can mention the hearer as the object of the verb:

She asked me if I was ready.
He told me what I had to do.

These verbs have the pattern:

N + V + N + wh- + clause:
I told them what he was doing.

or

N + V + N + if + clause:
Ken asked us if we wanted to go.

Comments

hi guiys, i'm driving mad whit subjunctive.
i've a couple o f questions, i hope you can help me.

i noticed these sentence recently:1)she proposed that the board of directors replace the CFO,
2) i suggested we move quickly, but i would have say : she proposed that the board of directors replaced the CFO , i suggested we moved quickly; what's the difference? replace and move are base form without to? aren't they?

as well i perform this one;) have you ever thought you have changed job?.is ti right?

Hello rosario70,

replace and move are the correct forms for those two sentences because subjunctive forms in English are equivalent to the base form, and, as you noticed, do not change for time, i.e. -ed is not added to the end. The BBC has an old page that discusses the subjunctive that you might find useful.

I'm afraid I'm not sure what you mean in your last sentence. Perhaps 'Have you every thought about changing jobs?'?

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, sorry if I asked here, but I'm a little bit confused.
What's the difference between : it has been said and it's being said ?
Thank you very much from now
Federica

"I promised Carole that I would help paint her living room." is bad or it's acceptable but your exercise can emphasize only one good answer, and in this case it's "I promised that I would help Carole paint her living room."?

Hello arkadsq,

That sentence is fine and has a very similar meaning. The difference is that the first sentence makes it clear that the promise was to Carole; the second sentence does not tell us to whom the promise was made, so we could, for example, have promised Carole's father that we would help her.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teachers,
Could you please clear my doubts on mixed conditionals and subjunctive mood.Here are the following examples:
Mixed conditions :

  1. If I had passed the medical exam,I would be a doctor today.
  2. If you passed the medical exam,you would have attained a physician's position.

Could you please clarify what we are trying to express by using mixed conditionals.
Subjunctive mood

  1. Had I known about the construction work on the road, I would have opted an alternative route.
  2. Were I a millionaire,I would set up a small business.

Are these correct subjunctive mood examples?
Would you tell me what we are trying to express by using this subjunctive mood.
Best wishes,
Livon
 

Hello Livon,

Mixed conditions are conditional sentences in which there is a different time reference in each clause (past and present, for example); however, both clauses must agree in terms of being about real or hypothetical situations.  When we apply this to your examples we can see that one sentence is fine, but the other is incorrect.

If I had passed the medical exam [unreal, past time], I would be a doctor today [unreal, present time]. - this sentence is fine


There is a problem with the second sentence.  The second part ('you would have attained') refers to unreal past time: something that did not happen in the past.  However the first part ('If you passed') can have two meanings in conditional sentences: unreal future time (as in a second conditional) or real past time.  Neither of these can be used with the second part as there must be agreement (both real or both unreal) and there must be a logical chronological sequence (the condition must precede the result).  For the sentence to work we need to change one of the verb forms:

If you had passed the medical exam (unreal past time), you would have attained a physician's position (unreal past time).

If you passed the medical exam (unreal future time), you would attain a physician's position (unreal future time).

If you had passed the medical exam (unreal past time), you would attain a physician's position (unreal present/future time).

If you passed the medical exam (real past time), you attained a physician's position (real past time).

Your second pair of sentences are both correct, though 'opt' should be followed by 'for'.  They are both alternatives to conditional forms with 'if': 'If I had known...' and 'If I were...' respectively.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Teachers,
Please reply my queries as these are quite important to me .
I would be very thankful to you.
Best wishes,
Livon
 

Hello Livon,

I'm sure your queries are important to you; however, I'm equally sure that the queries of all our other users are no less important to them.  We reply to queries are quickly as we can, even in holiday periods (as you can see, as I have replied to several of your questions this morning), but some questions take much longer to reply to than others.  If a question is effectively asking for an online grammar lesson, as many of yours are, then it will be answered when time allows, whereas a briefer, more to the point question will be answered much more promptly.  Simply put, if I or my colleagues have an hour to deal with questions and we have the choice of answering one or two long and complex questions or answering fifteen brief and direct questions then we will choose the latter because I would rather one user waited a little longer rather than fifteen users.  

Our primary role in answering questions is to help users to understand the material on the site and direct them to materials which will be of most use to them, not to be online teachers.  We do not mind these kinds of questions, but they have a high time cost for us and we cannot allow a backlog of other questions from other users to build up, which is why, generally speaking, the longer, most general or the more involved the question is, the longer it will take to get a reply and the more patient you will need to be.

I hope that is clear for you.

Best wishes,

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Pages