reporting clause (mid position)

reporting clause (mid position)

Point 15 in the category of REPORTED SPEECH / DIRECT SPEECH is defined as:

the reporting verb in the mid position of the reported clause.

This is a very hard structure to expand.  A search in iWeb for , _p thought|said , " gives us a start to work with.

(the specific strings are apparently ‘too’ general for iWeb and punctuation that is crucial for google searches does not work either.)

1 , HE SAID , ” 18787
2 , SHE SAID , ” 7035
3 , I SAID , ” 3008
4 , I THOUGHT , ” 2030
5 , WHO SAID , ” 1874
6 , THEY SAID , ” 1176
7 , IT SAID , ” 353
8 , YOU SAID , ” 303
9 , WE SAID , ” 245
10 , HE THOUGHT , ” 159
11 , WE THOUGHT , ” 110
12 , SHE THOUGHT , ” 88
13 , SOMEONE SAID , ” 80
14 , ONE SAID , ” 48



Some people advised me “exercise everyday”, but I didn’t want to exercise. So I looked for other advice, according to “the solution of insomnia”, Paul Jerard said, “Eat very light, read a book about something peaceful, and take a shower or a bath. You don’t have to do everything, but one of the above-mentioned ideas will work for you.”

*I don’t think this only example in PELIC is really a mid position reporting clause, but it still shows complexity of citation prior to the direct speech.


The fact is that the middle position is incredibly rare which makes it surprising that this is not a C levels grammar marker.  Here is a great report on it:

And from Cambridge we have:

The reporting clause may sometimes come in the middle of the reported clause, especially in literary styles:

“No,” she said, “I’ve never seen it before.”

‘Was it,’ he asked, ‘the first time you had spoken to Mrs Dalton?’


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