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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 of these buildings are enough to purchase a land and build a police station.

The direct speech must have been like this - A senior police officer said, "The cumulative rents paid for some of these buildings are enough to purchase a land and build a police station".

Sentence 2 (Indirect speech) : The girl said that she wanted some ice water.

The direct speech must have been like this - The girl said, "I want some ice water".

My query was, why in sentence 1 'are' was not changed to 'were' although in sentence 2 'want' was changed to 'wanted' because in school we were taught that while converting direct speech to indirect speech, tenses are back shifted.

I looked up this query on Google and I learned that even 'are' is also correct in indirect speech of sentence 1. So by this logic, is it correct to use 'want' in indirect speech of sentence 2 ?

Thank you!

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You can use them together if whatever is being described is true today as much as it was in the past.

For instance:

Archimedes discovered that the upward buoyant force that is exerted on a body immersed in a fluid is equal to the weight of the fluid that the body displaces.

As for your Sentence 1, a better way of putting it would be:

A senior police officer said that the cumulative rents paid for some of these buildings would be enough to [...]

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