Closing the doors to a foreign citizen seeking employment in India, the court on Thursday ruled that it is not a foreign national's fundamental right to get an employment visa in the country.

This question is from an error correction exercise which suggests to replace is by was as the reporting verb is in past so reported speech should also be in past but isn't it wrong ? The reporting speech is sort of a fact and is good in present tense.

  • I see your point, but the ruling carries forward into the present and future, ending only if changed. So the ruling was made in the past, but the ruling persists now.
    – Davo
    Sep 18, 2017 at 12:00

1 Answer 1


If somebody talked about a situation that has still not changed - that is to say, if the original speaker's present and future are still present and future - a reporter can often choose whether to keep the original speaker's tenses or to change them, after a past reporting verb. Both structures are common. - DIRECT: The earth goes round the sun. INDIRECT: He proved that the earth goes/went round the sun. - DIRECT: How old are you? INDIRECT: Are you deaf? I asked how old you are/were. - DIRECT: It will be windy tomorrow. INDIRECT: The forecast said it will/would be windy tomorrow. We are more likely to change the original speaker's tenses if we do not agree with what he/she said, if we are not certain of its truth, or if we wish to make it clear that the information comes from the original speaker, not from ourselves. The Greeks thought that the sun went round the earth. (NOT ... that the sun goes round the earth.) She just said she was fourteen! I don't believe her for a moment. He announced that profits were higher than forecast.

M.Swan PEU

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