0
  1. Direct speech: 'I am your English teacher' said Mr. James
  2. Reported speech: Mr. James said that he was our English teacher.

My understanding of the reported sentences is that Mr. James was a previous teacher, so what is the reported structure if the teacher is introducing himself as the current teacher?

-1

In Reported Speech, occasionally, we don't need to change the present tense into the past if the information in direct speech is still true (but this is only for things which are general facts, and even then usually we like to change the tense)

But If we were to change the tense of the reported verb, then we usually change the tense of the reported speech as well.

Mr. James said that he was our English teacher.

So,

was

does not imply that Mr. James is a previous teacher, it is just the structure of Reported Speech.

  • It doesn't imply that he was a previous teacher, but it doesn't rule it out: it could be either. If it was important to make clear that he was a previous teacher, we would say "Mr James said that he had been our English teacher". – Colin Fine May 20 at 10:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.