Linked Questions

21
votes
7answers
4k views

"He didn't know where New Jersey was"

I know the past tense carries the past tense in every dependent clause, but referring specifically to places or to things that are eternal, like the Earth, seems a bit weird and therefore we sometimes ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Why didn't you tell me you spoke or speak English? [duplicate]

I watched an interview and an interviewer was surprised that a guy who was interviewed by him can speak English and he said Why did't you tell me you spoke English ? Why did he use the past tense?...
1
vote
1answer
400 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Which is correct, are staying or stayed? [duplicate]

Is the use of "are staying" in this sentence correct? I think it should be "stayed" because it is already past tense. The loan specialist personally visited the house where Mr. A and Mr. B are ...
15
votes
8answers
31k views

"I didn't know you liked her" or "I didn't know you like her"

I have a friend who insists that "I didn't know you like her" is more correct than "I didn't know you liked her" if the liking is still taking place. But to my ear, only the latter sounds ...
16
votes
7answers
861 views

How did “to wish that” come to hate the present tense in the subordinate clauses it governs, and why is it alone in this?

Inspired by this earlier question, I've realized that we have no canonical question addressing the stranglely one-of-a-kind special grammatical rules demanded by the verb wish of its subordinate ...
1
vote
1answer
18k views

Reported speech in news articles [duplicate]

In reported speech we generally back shift the tense. But why in news articles do I often see that this guideline is violated? For ...
8
votes
0answers
7k views

Past tense or present tense to describe something that 'happened in the past' but is still true? [duplicate]

For example: "Last week, I found out that NASA stands for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" or "Last week, I found out that NASA stood for 'National Aeronautics and Space ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Reported speech: unnecessary past tense?

The following is an excerpt from a textbook in Korea. I'm wondering if this is an unnecessary past tense for the reported speech--or possibly wrong. When I moved to Korea, one of the first things ...
2
votes
4answers
917 views

Why “can” not “could” in “She was one of those people who can. . . .”?

The following sentence is from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, occurring in chapter 5 of part 2: She was one of those people who can go to sleep at any hour and in any position. Why is who ...
0
votes
1answer
2k 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 Paris." ...
1
vote
2answers
714 views

Felt + present/ past (back shifting ) [duplicate]

A few months back I met a celebrity and seeing his glamour I felt that I have/had no past or future. Which is to be used, had or have ?
2
votes
1answer
185 views

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.