Exclamations and yes and no
Do you know how you would report someone's "Wow" at the sight of your brand-new car? Or someone's "tut-tut" when you did a bad thing? If not, then this is the read for you!
Exclamations usually become statements in indirect speech. Plus, the exclamation mark disappears.
1Exclamations beginning with What ... or How . . . can be reported by the words exclaim/say that:
- Johny said "What a funny idea!" or 'How funny'.' = He exclaimed that it was a funny idea/ was funny.
or by give an exclamation of disgust/surprise/delight/relief/horror/etc.
Alternatively, if the exclamation is followed by an action we can use the construction with an exclamation of delight/disgust etc.
he/she etc. + verb.
2Other types of exclamation, such as Good! Marvellous! Splendid! Heavens! Oh! Ugh! etc. can be reported as in or above:
- "Good!" he exclaimed = He gave an exclamation of pleasure/satisfaction.
- 'Ugh!" she exclaimed, and turned the programme off = With an exclamation of disgust she turned the programme off.
3 Note also:
- She said, "Curse this dog!" = She cursed the dog.
- She said, "luck!" = She wished me luck.
- She said, "Thank you!" = She thanked me.
- She said, "Congratulations!" = She congratulated me.
- She said, "Traitor!" = She called me a traitor.
- She said, "Happy Christmas!" = She wished me a happy Christmas.
- She said, "Hell!" = She swore.
- The notice said: "welcome to Edinburgh" = The notice welcomed visitors to Edinburgh.
yes and no are expressed in indirect speech by subject + appropriate auxiliary verb:
- He said, "Can you swim?" and I said "No" = He asked (me) if I could swim and I said I couldn't.
- He said, "Will you have time to do it"' and I said "Yes" = He asked if I would have time to do it and I said that I would.