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The teacher said that the exam will be held on March 20, 2021

The teacher said that the exam would be held on March 20, 2021

Which one is correct?

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    The first is correct only if the exam hasn't yet taken place. Would be held could be used if the teacher made an announcement in the past about an exam which at the time had not yet happened. Feb 21 at 15:11
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    Both are fine if time of utterance is before March 20 (i.e. - it's still meaningful to talk about when the exam will be held). But only past tense would is acceptable if we're looking at something reported after the exam has taken place. And native speakers habitually "backshift" in such contexts anyway, so the fact of backshifting itself doesn't inherently imply anything about whether the exam is still in the future at time of utterance. Feb 21 at 15:31

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