He told them to be Italian

matar0

Senior Member
Italian, Italy
Can we say in Reported speech:
He told them to be Italian

And can we say:
I told you to be Italian
He tells to be the best in the world.

Thanks very much
 
  • Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Ciao.

    I think what you want in your first sentence is "He told them he was Italian". You can't use the infinitive in this kind of sentence, in English.

    And can we say:
    I told you to be Italian
    He tells to be the best in the world.
    In this context, you should use the verb "to say" :tick: instead of "to tell" :cross:.
     

    Chazzwozzer

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    "He told them to be Italian." would be like, in direct speech, that man says to them: "Be Italian!", probably in a humorous way.

    To my knowledge, in reported speech, object + infinitive pattern with told is used for orders or commands.

    Verb structure and meaning are all the same in your all sentences. So I sense "order" in these three.

    He tells her/him/them to be the best in the world. - it sounds more correct to me that way.

    Mind you, I'm not a native speaker so you'd better wait for others.
     

    matar0

    Senior Member
    Italian, Italy
    Ciao.

    I think what you want in your first sentence is "He told them he was Italian". You can't use the infinitive in this kind of sentence, in English.

    In this context, you should use the verb "to say" :tick: instead of "to tell" :cross:.
    So I can say:
    He said to them to be italian
    He said to them to be the best in the world.

    Or
    Did you said to them to be italian?
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    So I can say:
    He said to them to be italian
    He said to them to be the best in the world.

    Or
    Did you said to them to be italian?
    Not if you mean that he is talking about himself.

    The sentences sound like they are the imperative, or commands: he said to them to be the best in the world sounds like they should try to be the best, like something a coach tells his team before they play the World Cup championship. It does not sound like he is discussing himself.

    Is that what you mean to say?
     

    ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    So I can say:
    He said to them to be italian
    He said to them to be the best in the world.

    Or
    Did you said to them to be italian?

    matar0 these are all correct grammatically IF the conversation was something like this:
    "Don't behave like Americans/Turkish/Greek/Whatever. You are Italian. Be Italian"

    "I don't want you to be the second best team in the world. I want you to be the best in the world"

    IF, however you want to say that he said
    "Hello, my name is Marco and I am Italian. Italians are the best in the world"
    Then you should say

    "He said to them that he is Italian"
    "He said to them that (the Italians) were/are the best in the world"
     
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