40

Either is possible. In my personal opinion it comes down to context. Was this a fleeting acquaintance or someone you are likely to take up with in the future? Examples I met this guy yesterday, his name was John. He was very rude - I hope I never meet him again! I met this guy yesterday, his name is John. We're going to meet up for coffee. Come along and ...


13

The clauses that New Jersey was actually in the East Coast and the Earth was round are known in functional grammar as 'projected clauses'. They behave in the same way as clauses that contain what is known in traditional grammar as 'reported speech'. As the authors of the ‘Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English’ explain: Simple past tense has a ...


11

I have a friend who insists that 1.) "I didn't know you like her" is more correct than 2.) "I didn't know you liked her" if the liking is still taking place. But to my ear, only the latter (#2) sounds correct. Which of the above (if any) is correct and why? * Trust your ear. :) Your ear knows. As in all things dealing with ...


10

It is not correct to say that the tense of the verb in a reported time clause never changes. It depends on whether the action or state in the time-clause is still true at the time of reporting. As an example of no tense change, imagine that Person A, three months ago, said to person B: "I will go to Italy when I finish school". If Person A is still at ...


10

From a purely logical standpoint, only "was" is strictly correct, because you can't actually know whether he's changed his name since you met him. Very unlikely, but it's possible! You can say for sure what his (stated) name was at the time you met him, but you cannot know for sure what his name is at the present (without meeting or communicating with him ...


9

I agree with @Cord's answer and comment about defaulting to the past tense. I simply wish to add some references so that the OP can make up his or her mind about the acceptability of sentences such as I told you it's impossible to fly. Firstly, this is what the Collins Cobuild English Grammar (p327) has to say about the "default" use of the past tense: ...


8

As a technical matter, he cannot have thought in the past that the Earth is round in the present (because that was in his future); he must have thought that it was round at the time. If you really wanted to refer to his belief then in the Earth's roundness now, the construction would be he thought it would be round, but this is rare in any sensible context. ...


8

1.) "Last week, I found out that NASA stands for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" or 2.) "Last week, I found out that NASA stood for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" Both versions #1 and #2 are acceptable. It's up to you (or your editor) as to which one you want to use. The second version happens to use a ...


7

If she currently has a son, then you can use either version #1 or #2: 1.) "I didn't know [(that) she has a son]." 2.) "I didn't know [(that) she had a son]." For that situation, where she currently has a son, the #2 version happens to use a backshift preterite. (Note that "preterite" is the same thing as a "past-tense verb"). As to which version is ...


7

The past perfect (had + past participle) is mandatory when there is no other information in the sentence to make the sequence of events clear. For example: When I arrived at the party, he had left. Here the past perfect clearly indicates that the leaving happened before the arriving. If this is the case, then you cannot use the preterite: When I ...


5

"I didn't know (that) you liked her" This phrase means: at some time in the past I was unaware that 'you' liked her. This does not necessarily imply that the action, like, has stopped for the second person. He or she could still like the girl today. A: Mmm... strawberry ice-cream. My favourite. B: I didn't know you liked strawberry ice-cream, I ...


4

To me, "I didn't know you liked her" sounds/feels better. It's not the liking her or not that is being discussed. It's the not knowing that is/was the case. The liking is irrelevant, so using the past participle is more neutral, as in: less chance of your liking her becoming a subject to be discussed. However, if we inverse the sentence: You like her, I ...


4

I'm hesitant to disagree with @Barrie-England given his credentials, but I don't believe "were" would be grammatical in this case. As he mentioned, "it conveys varying degrees of remoteness from factuality." In your example, it's unlikely that you're asking your reader about his or her wishes, opinion, judgement, or possible state. Your statement is asking ...


4

This would depend on if the thing you found out is still true or not. If it is still true, you would use the present tense: "Last week, I found out that NASA stands for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" But if earlier in the week they changed the name, you would use the past tense: "Last week, I found out that NASA stood for 'National ...


4

"I didn't know you liked her" sounds much better. Without context, "I didn't know you like her" introduces ambiguity because of the. Another valid parse is "I didn't know you like [I know] her"


4

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (p198) states: Would is also used to indicate futurity in the past, futurity relative to the time referred to by the preterite. Left is the preterite in the sentence: They left the house at 6 and would reach Edinburgh 12 hours later. The CGEL goes on to explain that with this use of would ... ... ...


4

Quirk et al (A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, 1985.1025) prefer the term Indirect speech, about which they say simply "Typically, indirect speech is used to report statements" and (p. 1029) "Our examples have so far been of indirect statements; but all the main sentence types (questions, exclamations, directives as well as statements) may be ...


4

From English Club (slightly modified) : In reported speech: He said: "I feel sad." becomes He said that he felt sad. John said (that) he was hungry. ... John's original words: "I am hungry." [As is seen, w]e sometimes change the tense of the reported clause by moving it back one tense. For example, present simple goes back one ...


4

The general answer is probably that this is a context-specific consideration. In this example was may be probably preferable, since is (to my ear at least) imposes a bit of a tense-clash. But if we're talking about something more permanent and immutable then is might be preferable: e.g. "Yesterday the Sun emitted a flare. The Sun was Earth's nearest ...


4

Only backshifting, not subjunctive Reduce it to its most straightforward word order, and the answer will become clear: I realized that active contemplation would be needed if I ?were to find any closure. The thing is, I’m not sure this should be a were there, which is why I’ve marked it with a ? character of dubious grammaticality. I think it’s a ...


3

To answer your question, both versions #1 and #2 are acceptable. It's up to you (or your editor) as to which one you want to use. The second version happens to use a backshifted preterite ("was") in the subordinate clause. LONG ANSWER: Your question involves the topic of backshifting. Sometimes backshifting of a subordinate clause is obligatory, sometimes ...


3

Simply because He was believed to have been in debt would refer to a time before the time when the thinking was going on: they believed (a year ago) that he had been (two years ago) in debt. (This is sometimes called the pluperfect, to distinguish it from the normal past tense.) Strictly speaking, there is no implication one way or the other whether he had ...


3

So first, we cover the intended meaning. The meaning of the initial sentence is that she arrived at the place already knowing the actions which were required of her. In this case it should be evident that 'had to do' here is not 'had' in the auxiliary capacity, but 'had' as in 'required'. "You came in here knowing what you were required to do." So your ...


3

The reporting has no influence on the tense. Imagine this conversation: "She went to Spain when she finished school." "Did she say that herself?" "Yes. She said she went to Spain when she finished school." Perfectly natural. Now let me amplify a bit: When thinking about this situation, one might think of "reported speech" as if a reporter ...


3

As an English teacher, I believe it's more correct to say 'While she was waiting' if we're talking about school grammar. According to Oxford Practical English Usage, the simple past tense can refer to an extended/longer action in 'simultaneous long actions'. i.e. one long + one long action e.g. John cooked supper while I watched TV. (or ...was cooking... ...


3

Both are correct. Melissa said she WAS going to the mall. This implies that at some point she had informed you that she was going to the mall. Whether she went there is ambiguous. Melissa said she IS going to the mall. This implies that she is on her way to the mall. Depending on the situation, either could be right. For example, you're in ...


3

I believe it's in that tense because he is referring what the plans were at that time, not the actual future events that will be occurring tomorrow night. If your plans change you don't say "We are going to the game next week but it's too expensive so we are watching at home instead." you say "We were going to the game next week but it's too expensive so ...


3

"Did she even ask you what you were doing tomorrow night? If you were busy?" Your example is about indirect reported speech that is using the backshift preterite (that is, a past-tense verb) for the subordinate clauses that are expressing what had been asked by her. She had asked something like: "What are you doing tomorrow night? Are you busy?" Because ...


3

The specific criterion for the syntactic construction called reported speech (or indirect speech or indirect reported speech) that is satisfied by the two questions (Did she say if I'll be invited? and Will I be invited, did she say?) is that both contain the reporting verb "say" - either in the matrix clause or in what the CGEL (p1204) calls a "...


3

The use of present perfect has caused indicates that the event happened in the recent past and its effects are still current. Imagine a meeting within the first hour of the earthquake: We held a meeting in Washington. The president learned that the earthquake has caused havoc all across the country. The National Guard was mobilised. All of those ...


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