Please look at this example of reported speech:

A friend told me he made an order 5 months ago.

I think that even though this is reported speech, there's no backshift here because of 5 months ago. The date of the order is clearly stated.

Is my explanation correct?

  • 5
    What exactly are you asking? I don't see a question here. – Watercleave May 9 '15 at 15:14
  • I just would like to know if I am right by explaining that there is no backshift due to 5 months ago. – user5577 May 9 '15 at 16:12
  • 1
    I don't understand what you are asking. Are you saying that backshift is not allowed in that example? Or are you saying that backshift is optional in that example? Please update your question post to reflect whatever question it is that you are asking. – F.E. May 10 '15 at 8:03
  • Optional of course as it is clearly stated that the order was before "today" – user5577 May 10 '15 at 8:54
  • No, there is no "of course" in it. You need to edit your post to make it clear what you are saying and what you are asking for. – F.E. May 10 '15 at 15:38

In my opinion, it is better saying:

A friend told me he had made an order 5 months ago.

If you introduce the past perfect the backshift is implicitly done.

  • 1
    Welcome to the ELL :-). To avoid answers that look like they are opinion-based (this are usually reserved for comments) it is preferable to include some references and/or reasoning that is a bit more detailed. – Lucky May 10 '15 at 23:49

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