Indirect speech is speech describing what someone has said without using a direct quote.

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Do I have to backshift If the thing that's being reported is still true? (Reported speech) [duplicate]

I'm sorry if somebody has already posted this message, I just don't know what to type in order to find it. "I'm sick" - He told me that he's sick. <--- Is this correct if we know that he is indeed ...
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from direct to indirect speech

Change this into 'indirect speech': He said, "I had a grandpa who died when he was ninety-seven." Which is right? 1) He said (that) he had had a grandpa who had died when he had been ninety-seven. or ...
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138 views

Do we use the present or the past after “when” in a conditional sentence?

He said we would get married when we get older. or He said we would get married when we got older. Which tense of the verb get should be used?
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First Conditional reported speech [closed]

If you want to come, call me before 5:00. Which one is correct? He said if I want to come to call him before 5:00. or He said if I want to come I will call him before 5:00.
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Mixing past and present tense

Today while reading the newspaper I found two sentences with the opposite pattern of tense usage. Sentence 1 (Indirect speech) : A senior police officer said that the cumulative rents paid for some ...
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172 views

Converting impersonal reporting verbs from active to passive

I have a question regarding impersonal reporting structures. The task is to complete the second sentence beginning with Bob as a subject so that it has the same meaning as the first sentence: ...
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38 views

Introducing reported speech- has said/ said

Please consider the following sentences: Jane Smith has said her son cries when she comes back home. Jane Smith said her son cries when she comes back home. Dave Bloggs has told me what ...
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56 views

“Which verb to use in a reporting clause?”

Direct: he said, “It used to be a lovely quiet street.” Indirect: he said that it used to be a lovely quiet street. Why is it not: He pointed out that it had used to be a lovely quiet ...
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Are 'third person singular pronouns' optional?

I took a English test in a non-English speaking country. There was a problem with a picture. In the picture, a girl whose name is Ann says, My knife doesn't cut well. The question asked: "What ...
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118 views

Present perfect vs. Past perfect tense used in newspaper story [closed]

I've been asking a lot about backshifting of tenses for quite some time and I have come across many articles/blogs where this so-called rule is not always followed unlike notable grammar books. For ...
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Tense backshift in reported speech [duplicate]

My question arose in an English lesson. Is it necessary to apply the backshift in reported speech? For example: Jon: "I go home." Mary to Henry: "What did Jon say?" Henry: "Jon said that he ...
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correct usage - using was/am with “said” [duplicate]

Which one is correct: My manager told me that I was not doing great at work. or My manager told me that I am not doing great at work.
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Grammatical Consistency for Book Text

I recently came across text from a book a good friend of mine was tasked with proofreading. The book, a translation, which detailed the past exploits of a military division (whose members the author ...
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Reporting a questions in past tense where the wh- clause replaces the subject

How do I report this question, or any question with a form as described in the title in past tense, like the sentence below: Question: "Who did that?" Reported form: "He asked _____ ."
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125 views

Past continuous reporting verb in indirect speech [duplicate]

In indirect speech if the reporting verb is in past tense, then the verb in subordinate clause will also be in past tense. Ex- He said that he was going to see movie. What tense will be used in ...
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3answers
333 views

would come vs. would have come?

Which is the difference between the following constructions? He told me that he would come. (would + base form = present conditional) He told me that he would have come. (would + have + past ...
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146 views

When is “backshifting” optional?

In reported speech, tenses are generally backshifted. If what was said is still true at the time of reporting then back shifting is optional. My question is, if someone doesn't backshift the tense ...
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Reported speech: why is the past perfect the right answer here?

Please help me to find out the right answer. He said that they ______ each other for many years. a) know b) have known c) knew d) had known In the book I referred the right ...
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108 views

Simpler english by pronunciation

I'm into computer science. My question is more relevant to making computers "understand" english. However, I would like to make english simpler, even for/by pronunciation. It may sound... ...
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83 views

“I'm not sure what's true love” vs. “I'm not sure what true love is”

Are all these sentences grammatically correct? Which ones are more common? "I'm not sure what's true love" vs. "I'm not sure what true love is" "I don't know who's your brother" vs. "I don't know ...
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296 views

“you” in spoken, quoted dialogue

My partner and I have been having a debate about the proper way of relating dialogue in spoken English. Our problem is as follows: It often happens in conversation that one wishes to relate a ...
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1answer
73 views

…is/was in debt [closed]

I'm really sorry to put the same question through. Let's say I'm narrating a past incident in which one of the sentence is -- "There was a rumor that Citibank is in debt." I'm aware that here 'is' ...
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what is time reference of a verb

In indirect speech if the time reference has not changed then the tenses are not back shifted. Randolph Quirk, in A Comprehensive Grammar of The English Language states Backshift is optional when ...
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optional backshifting criterion in non reported speech [duplicate]

In an indirect speech back shifting of tense is optional if what is said is still true. For example -- Kate said that she is not well. ( Here non change in tense because Kate is still not well at the ...
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300 views

What tense should be used when present/past perfect is used?

Here is my sentence of which I am having some troubles ascertaining the grammatical correctness: I think that Rachel has told Brady that Bert would admit to the judge what he has taught about ...
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sentence structure and sequence of tense

In sentence structure of indirect speech like - (He said +........... , He informed +....... , He claimed + .......... ), I am aware that if the situation is still relevant then back shifting of ...
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249 views

sequence of tenses (optional and obligatory back shifting )

Consider a sentence: 1) The president learned that the earthquake has caused havoc all across the country. Here present perfect tense is used. First tell me is it correct to use 'has caused' ? ...
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229 views

present perfect vs past perfect [closed]

What's the difference between the following examples: I noticed that the clock had stopped. I noticed that the clock has stopped. Some of them say that if the emphasis is laid on the ...
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801 views

reported speech in news articles [duplicate]

In reported speech we generally back shift the tense. But why in news articles I often see that this guideline is violated ? For example ...
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Different form of reported speech [duplicate]

In indirect speech we generally backshift the tense. For ex - Direct speech : "I am the most powerful person." Indirect speech : "He said that he was the most powerful person." What if someone ...
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545 views

I asked if he speaks/spoke English

I asked if he speaks English I asked if he spoke English Speak or spoke? Colloquially, is it correct to say speaks?
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168 views

I asked + present/past tense

Consider the examples: "My name is Ricky." He said his name is Ricky. The tense is not backshifted in #2 because his name is and will always be Ricky. Also consider: Ricky says: "I live in ...
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204 views

Sequence of tenses in reported speech [duplicate]

I've found it in a book and assume it's got to be correct, but I cannot understand why the Past Perfect of I had been offered. Would was offered not have been clearer? I explained that when I was in ...
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What will be the word order in converting this to reported speech? [duplicate]

We need to convert the following to reported speech: Why have you taken a room on the tenth floor? I am confused about the word order. Should it be He asked her why she had taken a room on ...
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reporting past simple tense [closed]

Choose: He said that while he was watching television, the light (went/had gone) out. Some people say that past simple tense doesn't change in indirect speech, but my teacher says that the direct ...
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verb tense in reported speech

I told Cindy we would not be able to eat American Chinese food again for a couple of years, once we moved to Shanghai. I told Cindy we would not be able to eat American Chinese food again for ...
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176 views

Direct speech to reported speech with Hush! [closed]

Please change the sentence from direct speech to reported speech. I cannot solve this problem. Can anyone solve this? He said, "HUSH! The headmaster is coming."
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182 views

Capitalization in direct speech without quotation marks

My question has been largely answered in the discussion linked to below. However, one question remains: in mid-sentence hypothetical direct speech without quotation marks, what is preferable ...
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Present tense and conditional tense in a stated past tense

I have a question about using past and conditional tenses in a context that refers to something told in the past. I think I’ve seen both forms used in films/books, etc., but I'm not sure about it ...
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She may have reasoned that it 'would have been' against her own economic self interest

She may have reasoned that it would have been against her own economic self interest to disclose the worst case scenario Source My question is: In this sentence why are we using "would have ...
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Reported speech in Minute taking

I have to take minutes of a meeting, but I am quite confused at the moment. Here are some sentences which got me confused: ''Mr Johnson: Latin America and Asia produce the same products, so I suggest ...
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222 views

Converting direct to reported speech: who-question [closed]

The teacher asked Marga, "Who helped you with your work?" Would "The teacher asked Marga who had helped her with her work." be an acceptable conversion to reported speech?
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222 views

“Used to” and reported speech

He said: “You are a very stupid man.” → He said that I was a very stupid man. But when we express the past by using the structure "used to" is the shift rule valid as well? He used to say: ...
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question on past or present in indirect speech [duplicate]

Amit: I will send you an email. Me: OK. After one day how can i tell this indirectly. Should i say Amit told me that he would send me an email or Amit told me that he will send me an email. It is ...
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223 views

Should I use present or past tense in indirect speech?

Suppose a person has told me this: I will go home. I want to report what he told me to someone else, but I don’t know whether the condition is still true — that is, whether he has gone home. ...
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157 views

Reported speech of future time clauses

How should we report sentences including "future time clause?" We will have dinner when your father gets home. Do we have to change the tense of 'future time clause' or leave it in the original ...
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«Said I» vs «I said»

Are «said I» and «I said» interchangeable? «Said I» is pretty uncommon, or so I thought. The sentence in question looks like so: «"It's not going to be your way," — said I.» Or it could be «"It's not ...
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150 views

reported speech sentences

When we want to report a sentence we change both simple past and present perfect verb into past perfect. What if the sentence we want to report has past perfect element itself. For example How do we ...
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999 views

Change “What are you doing?” asked Sally into indirect speech

Is "Sally asked what you were doing." correct? It couldn't possibly be "Sally asked what I was doing." right? Thanks.
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Promise of something would happen as reported speech

He promised the following: “your payment will reach your account next Friday”. How to phrase the message below correctly? The payment you promised to make reach my account a week ago has still not ...