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Thinking Spainit sounds much better with than without them
Right.

CJ
Hi Jim,

Though grammatically the 'that's' are almost always optional in reported speech, aren't they?

TS
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Hi Jim,

Sorry, I did some research and now I understand it. Emotion: embarrassed

d) He answered that they were just his work clothes.

e) He answered the old lady that they were just his work clothes.

f) He answered her that they were just his work clothes.

All the 'that's' after 'answered' cannot be dropped. After 'reply' cannot be drop either. That cannot be dropped after certain verbs.

Best regards

TS