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என்று: the quotative marker (Lit. ‘having said’)
என்று (AVP of என்) is used as a quotative marker like 'that' in English. It is used in reported speech constructions, but also has a number of other meanings depending upon the context. Even though this word is made with a combination of the verb என் ‘to say’, past tense suffix and the participle marker உ, like any other AVP, this form has lost much of its original lexical meaning.
Quotative When used with verbs of speech, such as சொல் ‘say’ or கேள் ‘ask’, என்று (sp. -ண்ணு) acts as a quotative marker. Unlike in English, in Tamil the reported sentence (subordinate clause) occurs first and the reporting sentence (matrix clause; i.e. main verb) occurs at the end.
கமலா நாளைக்கி வீட்டுக்கு வருவாண்ணு ராதை சொன்னா. (spoken)
Radhai said that Kamala would come home tomorrow.
The teacher asked all the students who didn't bring the book.
Intention and reported thought
Don’t take it wrong. I don’t like a bit what you do.
Murthy is angry that his mother yelled at him.
Note on reported speech/thought in Tamil
There are a number of key differences with English reported speech/thought constructions that should be noted. First, in both reported speech and thought note that because word order is relatively free in Tamil that only the main verb needs to occur at the end of the sentence. However, the subject of the main verb can occur at the beginning of the sentence, even before the subordinate clause. For example, in the sentence below the matrix clause is italicized and the subordinate clause is not:
Yesterday John said/thought that she lost her book.
John said that he would see him.
ஜான் அவன் அவரை பார்ப்பார் என்று சொன்னார்.
1) I say that you would come!
2) You are saying that I should wait for some time.
3) I am asking what is the matter?
4) You are saying that you wouldn’t get up from where you are sitting.
5) What do you say that I should do?
6) Tell me what needs to be done.
7) You are talking about what you want to do.
8) For the reason that I haven’t asked you, you didn’t give it to me.
9) I am thinking if I can sleep for some time.
© South Asia Language Resource Center (SALRC)