Could you please help me to realize the reverse operation. If Pres.Perf. becomes Past Perf. and Past Simple also becomes Past Perf. how can I define what was in direct speech?

For example: Indirect speech: "Bill asked Mary if she had done anything the previous weekend."

Which form was right for direct speech:

  • 1) Have you done anything last weekend?
  • 2) Did you do anything last weekend?
  • Why the doubt? What do you think would the natural answer be?
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 9:27
  • I'm not native. I don't know which form is natural. In russian both forms sounds correct: 1) "Ты что-нибудь сделала на выходных?" и 2) "Ты что-нибудь делала на выходных?". The difference only in "success" of doing (was Mary succeeded in her doing or she just had a process). Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 16:57

1 Answer 1


There is a time of the action, so it is the second option: "did you do anything last week".

  • 1
    But that is the only way you can tell. In general, there's no difference: "Bill asked Mary if she had seen the book" can equally well correspond to "Did you see the book?" or "Have you seen the book?"
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 23:06
  • Why do you think so?
    – Kris
    Commented Sep 3, 2018 at 9:27

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