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

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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 such form (as described in the title) in past tense like the sentence bellow : Question : Who did that? Reported form : He asked ??????
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Past continuous reporting verb in indirect speech

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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reported speech optional backshifting

In reported speech tenses are generally back shifted. But if what was said is still true at the time of reporting then back shifting of tenses is optional. My question is if someone doesn't back ...
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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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69 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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58 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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56 views

…is/was in debt

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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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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194 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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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.
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130 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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62 views

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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360 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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93 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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107 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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139 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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131 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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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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188 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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160 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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191 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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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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101 views

«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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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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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 ...
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190 views

What tense to use when reporting something which has never been true or never happened? [duplicate]

The report said that years ago city planners had planned to build a facility that turns salt water into fresh water, but financial woes made that impossible. In this sentence should turned be ...
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Question about tenses used in Seinfeld show: “what you were doing tomorrow night”

In the sentences "Did she even ask you what you were doing tomorrow night? If you were busy?" occurring at about 0:42 - 0:43 in this clip, why was past tense used in "What you were doing ...
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Is back-shifting necessary in speech and writing [duplicate]

Can I say "I told you he is going to the book club" when he has already gone there by now; or is it necessary to back-shift it to past i.e. "I told you he was going to the book club". So will I be ...
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Use of IS and WAS in reported speech [duplicate]

Which one is more correct: Melissa said she was going to the mall. or Melissa said she is going to the mall.
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What does “It can't have been her you saw yesterday: she is abroad.” become in indirect reported speech?

What does the sentence: It can't have been her you saw yesterday: she is abroad. become in indirect reported speech? He told me it… can't have been (?) couldn't have been (?) … her I had seen ...
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Have I transformed this reported speech correctly? [closed]

She asked the teacher what should she do. Should it read as - She asked the teacher, What has to be done? Please explain why the sentence might be incorrect.
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450 views

Indirect Speech Backshifting in Commands & Requests with Time Clauses

I know that backshifting can used when reporting statements and questions. This is clearly stated in many grammar books. Aside from a mere example on some webpage, I haven't found any reference in the ...
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427 views

Reported speech commands - negations which aren't related to subject

First my english ain't pretty good but I hope you can understand me. :) So at the moment I'm doing my homework and I'm pre-finished with it but 2 sentences are very difficult for the exercise. I need ...
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at which point I can shift from past perfect back to simple past?

Imagine I'm writing a story in past tense. Here come some questions: SENTENCE 1: "Tom simply couldn't imagine how different the world had been when his father was at Tom's age: there hadn't been ...
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Proper tense for reported speech

Jimmy: Did you read my novel? Sara: Not yet. People told me it was romantic. Is it fine to use 'was' here? I suspect 'is' most suitable here, because that book still exists, so use of 'is' ...
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Reported speech - statements whose meaning still stands

I know the main idea behing the reported speech (shifting of tenses) but one of the textbooks I have says: I like pizza. He said he liked pizza. But I think that if he likes pizza, he likes ...
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323 views

Can verb tense be changed mid-sentence for something that still exists?

Look at this sentence: I knew that the sky is blue. To me, it doesn't make sense to say the sky was blue since it still is blue. Even so, is it grammatically incorrect to say I knew that the sky ...
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Reported Speech

I am correcting a reported speech test. I am more than familiar with the backshifts and exceptions. However, I would need some help to see if I can accept these two reports: "We can't protect our ...
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Can I use the word “must” in subjunctive mood?

I'm a student in China. Our English exam has a grammar item. 54.My boss ordered that the legal documents __ to him before lunch. A.be sent B.were sent C.were to be sent D.must be ...
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446 views

Direct to Reported Speech - a scenario of ambiguity [duplicate]

The question is: How would one convert He said, "My name is Harry" to reported speech? Rules do say that the converted sentence reads He said that his name was Harry. The factor causing ...
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Is reported speech reasonable in this example? [closed]

What is the right word to the gap (21)? (had/have) That is about 400 years earlier than when the Inca Indians were thought to (21) __ discovered the silver in the ground. I think it's had as ...