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Re: Puzzling grammar?

Posted by R. Berg on February 20, 2003

In Reply to: Puzzling grammar? posted by English Learner on February 20, 2003

: Hello,
: I know this forum is used to ask questions related to idiom. But I do trust you about any interpretations of English grammar. I had post the following questions in different grammar forums but I got totally different answers. I was quite puzzled by it, and wondering if you could help me out. Here're the questions:
: 1.Which is grammatically correct and natural?
: (a) I heard he said you won't come to my party next week.
: (b) I heard from him that you won't come to my party next week.
: (c) I heard from him that you wouldn't come to my party next week.
: (d) I heard it from him that you won't come to my party next week.
: (e) I heard it from him that you wouldn't come to my party next week.
: 2. If some of them are correct, do they share the same meaning?
: One answered that (a) is the most natural and (d) and (e) are incorrect. The other answered that (a) is incorrect and the rest(b,c,d,e) are correct.
: Thank you very much for your help.

a, b, and c are correct. d and e are incorrect.

a means SOMEBODY ELSE (not he) reported to me that he said you will not come.

b means HE HIMSELF told me you will not come.

c means the same thing as b. There may be a difference: a speaker might use c to mean you will actively refuse to come to my party and b to mean you simply won't be there, for whatever reason, perhaps a reason outside your control. But speakers who choose b or c do not necessarily have that difference in mind.