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Questions tagged [backshifting]

The changing of a present tense in direct speech to a past tense in reported speech

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Is this an example of indirect speech?

I wrote: School starts in August next year? I thought it started in September. I proposed that this is one good example of how grammar can confuse people because a preterite (started) is used to ...
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Why isn't it “had handed” in “the girl alleged that her mother handed her over”?

In the following reported speech: The girl alleged that her mother handed her over to a pimp and was taking Rs 40,000 from him every month. — Times of India Newspaper, 1st May 2018 Why is it ...
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Backshift with a past continuous

Is it correct when using reported speech to say: Jan said that on the weekend she cycled and went hiking rather than Jan said that on the weekend she cycled and had gone hiking? Tks Jan
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If he knew she had too many commitments, he'd do something about it

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 152, reads If he knew she had too many commitments, he would do something about it is a remote conditional, with the preterite in knew ...
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I'd appreciate it if + <past tense> + until + <present or past tense?>

These three examples have the same construction of I'd appreciate it if you + past tense verb + ... + until + subject + present or past tense verb... The first one has the present tense verb ...
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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." ...