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What's the difference between these three quoting particles?
Is there any grammatical difference, or are they just casual/formal variations of one another?


Would all three of those sentences be grammatically correct?

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I don't have an answer to your question (have been wondering the same thing actually), but just wanted to comment on 「言った」... If you heard the person saying it, then I'm pretty sure that you use 「言っていました」or 「言っていた」 (they mean the same thing - the first is just formal and second is casual). So while your use of 言った is not incorrect, I think that in most situations in would not be used. You can think of it literally as "I heard them say" or "I was listening to them say". – atlantiza Dec 6 '11 at 20:23
@atlantiza It is not clear what you are trying to express. – user458 Dec 6 '11 at 21:05
@sawa 「言った」is not the normal sense in which you would say "said", correct? I think in most normal contexts, 言っていました is used instead. I'm just trying to inform the poster of this 'oddity' in meaning. – atlantiza Dec 6 '11 at 21:25
@atlantiza, I understand what your teacher is trying to say, but he/she could probably have explained better. 言った has a feeling of direct quotation, as if to stress the exact wording that was used, or to state it in a very matter-of-fact way. 言っていた has a feeling of indirect quotation, as if to describe the general attitude that the speaker had, or to describe the situation when it was said. – dainichi Jan 25 '12 at 9:15
@atlantiza cont'd... In 行きましょうと言った, you can almost hear the quotation marks: 「行きましょう」と言った. 行きましょうと言っていた might not be completely wrong, but would probably be expressed more naturally by (一緒に)行きたいと言っていた. 行きましょう doesn't lend itself very well to indirect speech, probably because of its imperative mood (linguists, please correct my sloppy lingo). Compare ""Let's go", he said" vs "He said that he wanted to go". – dainichi Jan 25 '12 at 9:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

is the normal one, って is a colloquial variant of it, is substandard at best and may be ungrammatical.

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