Direct Questions vs. Reported Speech


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When to use meet or met

The verb meet is an irregular verb. Meet is the base form of the verb, which can be used in the present tense (We meet again!) and future tense (will meet) and as an infinitive (to meet). For example:
  • You meet new people every time you go to the park. 
  • Jeff will meet Nicole at the cafe outside the mall. 
  • We like to meet other science fiction fans at conventions. 
The past tense and past participle form of meet is met. A verb is typically considered to be an irregular verb if its past tense or past participle is formed without using the -ed or -d endings used in regular verbs (such jumped and arrived). This is the case with meet: instead of meeted, the past tense and past participle is met. For example:
  • Naomi met her husband while she was in college.
Because met is also the past participle, it’s used with the helping (or auxiliary) verbs have, has, and had to form the perfect verb tenses. The verb phrase has met is used with a third person singular subject (with the exception of singular they). The phrase have met is used with any other subject, including first person singular and plural, second person singular and plural, and third person plural. For example:
  • Tina has met my brother once before.
  • The puppies have met all of the other dogs in the neighborhood. 
Like all other past participles, met is also the form that’s used in the passive voice. When used this way, it’s used with the various forms of the helping verb be. For example:
  • The visitors were met at the door by the butler.
  • My expectations will be met, or everyone here is getting fired. 
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Similar verbs

Meet is a unique irregular verb, and no other verb follows its exact irregular conjugation pattern. Other verbs that end in -eet, such as greet and sheet, are usually regular verbs. However, meet uses a similar pattern to several other irregular verbs that end in -et:
present tense past tense past participle
meet met met
let let let
set set set
upset upset upset
bet bet/betted bet/betted
wet wet/wetted wet/wetted

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Examples of meet and met in a sentence

Let’s introduce ourselves to some example sentences that show how we typically use meet and met.
  • I’m going to meet my friends at the movies. 
  • My daughter met Santa Claus at the mall today.
  • The leaders of Spain and France will meet tomorrow to discuss trade agreements. 
  • She’s never met anyone from the south side of town. 
  • We’ve met every deadline so far, but the next one looks impossible to meet.
  • The ambassador will meet with the queen after she has met with the prime minister.

A direct question is when you ask a question by speaking directly (e.g. “How are you doing today?”). Reported dialogue is when you report what someone else says (e.g. “Joan asked how you’re doing today.”). Reported dialogue usually uses the third person point of view.

Direct Questions

Direct questions usually include interrogative pronouns or adverbs. Interrogative pronouns and adverbs include words like as who, what, where, when, and why. When spoken, people tend to ask direct questions in a rising tone of voice. In writing, direct questions also end with question marks (?).

Kinds of Direct Questions

Three kinds of direct questions are yes/no questions, wh- questions, and alternative questions. Yes/no questions are ones where the answer is either yes or no. Something like “Did Sally clean her room?”Wh- questions begin with who, what, where, when, and why. “When did Sally clean her room?” is an example.Alternative questions offer options and use the word or, as in “Do you want ice cream or frozen yogurt?”

Reported Dialogue

Reported dialogue doesn’t use quotation marks because the speaker isn’t directly speaking. To turn a direct question into a reported one, you might need to make some changes in verb tense. For example, “Are you going to the store?” is a direct question. As reported dialogue, it might become “Bill asked if you’re going to the store.” Note the change from first person to third person, as well as the change in tense.

An indirect question is an example of reported dialogue. A major difference between a direct and indirect question is that indirect questions don’t end in a question mark. Another type of reported dialogue is reported statements, as in “Bob said he can’t come to lunch today.”

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