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If someone told you '' the guard said we can't play here, so let's move elsewhere " (direct from guard to someone "you can't play here" ) would you understand them? In other words, is it mandatory to change the tense of verbs to past when saying what someone said " the guard said we couldn't play here so let's move elsewhere " for you to understand correctly ?.

If so, should all the verbs be changed ? Assuming the Direct sentence is " We will stop the plane before it lands " Which one is the correct sentence for an indirect sentence:

They said they would stop the plane before it landed ?

or

They said they would stop the plane before it lands ?

  • In short, no it is not mandatory. – green_ideas Jul 31 '17 at 14:51
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Both are correct. The difference in meaning is in whether the statement still applies in the present.

''The guard said we can't play here ..." The guard said it in the past and the rule sill applies - we still can't play here.

"The guard said we couldn't play here ... " We couldn't play here in the past because the guard said so.

In the second example, the use of the perfect verb ('landed') indicated that the action (stopping or landing) has finished.

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  • Since the plane hasn't landed yet and applies to present , it's correct to say :They said they will stop the plane before it lands. Right ? – Reported Jul 31 '17 at 7:36
  • @Reported Yes, it's correct. – user178049 Jul 31 '17 at 7:41

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