Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Урок 47. Косвенная речь и вопрос. Lesson 47. Indirect Speech and Question.

Indirect statements are reports of what people have said or asked: He said he was going to St Petersburg; He asked if I was going to Moscow.

(A) In English there is a change of the tense of verb between direct and indirect statement:
In direct speech ‘I am going to St Petersburg’ he said.
In indirect speech He said he was going to St Petersburg.
In direct speech 'I will go to St Petersburg' he said.
In indirect speech He said he would go tu St Petersburg.
In direct speech 'He has already gone to St Petersburg’ we said.
In indirect speech We said that he had already gone to St Petersburg.
In Russian the tense in the indirect statement remains the same as it was in the direct statement (although, as in English, there may be some change of the person of the verb):
Direct speech “Я еду в Санкт-Петербург”, - сказал он.
Indirect speech Он сказал, что (он) едет в Санкт-Петербург.
Direct speech “Я поеду в Санкт-Петербург”, - сказал он.
Indirect speech Он сказал, что (он) поедет в Санкт-Петербург.
Direct speech “Он уже поехал в Санкт-Петербург”, - сказали мы.
Indirect speech Мы сказали, что он уже поехал в Санкт-Петербург.

Note that Russian always needs the word for that (что) in an indirect statement, preceded by a comma.

(B) In English we introduce an indirect question with the words if or whether
Direct question 'Will you return?, we asked.
Indirect question We asked him whether he would return.

In Russian, indirect questions must never start with the word если (if), but always with the word ли (whether). As for indirect statements, Russian keeps the tense of the direct question in the indirect version:
Direct question “Вы вернётесь?” – спросили мы.
Indirect question Мы спросили, вернётся ли он.

Notice that the word order is usually:
Verb of asking + comma + verb + n" + subject, i.e. Мы спросили + , + вернётся + ли + он.
Я хочу знать, приедут ли они. I want to know whether they are coming or not.

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