Today I had another English lesson and all students were instructed by teacher to ask each other few predefined questions and then to report them. I got the following questions:
- "What kind of computers do you have?", which I reported as "He asked me what kind of computers I have."
- "What music do you like?", which I reported as "She asked me what music I like."
My logic is that in these cases the situation hasn't changed in the five minutes since the question was asked (I still liked the same music and my computers still weren't stolen) and it is OK to use the present tense here.
But my teacher corrected me and insisted that I should always use past tense without any exceptions. What am I missing here?
I've checked 'English Grammar in Use' by Cambridge University. Quoting Unit 48, "Reported speech 2":
It is not always necessary to change the verb in reported speech. If you report something and the situation hasn't changed, you do not need to change the verb to the past:
direct: Paul said, 'My new job is very interesting.'
reported: Paul said that his new job is very interesting.
(The situation hasn't changed. His job is still interesting.)
You can also change the verb to the past.
Another example from the same book, "Additional Exercises, Reported Speech", 25.5:
What's your job?
How much do you earn?
Valid answers are:
He wanted to know what my job was and asked me how much I earned.
He wanted to know what my job is and asked me how much I earn.
The last example looks very similar to my own.