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In this video (you don't have to watch it but just in case) the teacher provided two sentences as an example of usage of "will":

I asked the pirate where the treasure was but he wouldn't tell me.

and

I asked the pirate where the treasure is but he won't tell me.

The last one confuses me as I remember being taught that the subordinate clause must follow the sequence of tenses rule (like in the first example) and I cannot figure out what the exception it fits to. Why is the last example grammatically correct?

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    There's nothing wrong with ...but he won't tell me if the pirate is still refusing to give the requested information, and that fact is significant at time of speaking. Compare, for example, I asked where his wife was and he said he isn't married, which is also fine if the fact of him being unmarried is still true and relevant. Sep 4 at 15:04
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I asked the pirate where the treasure was but he wouldn't tell me.

All that is in the past tense. He would not tell me when I asked him.

WHEREAS I asked the pirate where the treasure is but he won't tell me.

works like this: He won't tell me where the treasure is. = a general truth

So, you asked him in the past, but he won't tell you where it is, as a general truth in the present.

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I asked the pirate where the treasure was but he wouldn't tell me.

A correct sentence. The person describes two things: 1) they asked the pirate a question and 2) the pirate didn't say. Note that asked, was, and wouldn't tell are all past tense.

I asked the pirate where the treasure is but he won't tell me.

Again, a correct sentence. But the meaning has changed: now the speaker is describing an ongoing situation. The asking is still described as an event that happened in the past (I asked). But the location of the treasure is described in the present and the pirate is described as not answering (won't say), which is the present continuous tense. The speaker would use this if the pirate is still in front of them and they are reporting about the situation to a newcomer, rather than reporting about a situation that happened in the past.

I think the rule you were taught about "sequence of tenses" may not apply as broadly as you were taught.

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