Questions tagged [backshifting]

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1answer
21 views

My favorite place was/is Gardens by the bay. (back shifting)

I was asked to talk about a beautiful place I visited. I said: I went to Singapore last January..... (this is where I got and get confused all the time) It was a very beautiful place. - I back ...
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1answer
28 views

“I think/thought he is/was kind.”

I think he is kind. I think he was kind. I thought he is kind. I thought he was kind. Which do you usually use or not?
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1answer
24 views

“The student said that birds can fly”

The script, which checks grammar, explains next. It appears that the verb can in the dependent clause uses the wrong tense. Should I rewrite the sentence in this way? The student said that birds ...
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1answer
12 views

Do you have to exchange a person with questions you ask differently? [closed]

When you answer so many questions, is it hard, or is it super easy you wanna answer it right away?
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0answers
20 views

Reported speech. Is there any difference in meaning without backshifting?

He explained that he had been studying all day the day before, was working then and would go to the hospital the next day (=the following day). He explained that yesterday he studied all day, now he ...
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1answer
37 views

Using present tense when quoting from the past idea or utterance

I know that we use past tense when we want to mention an utterance or idea which was in someone's mind. For example: They thought it was rude to speak through the telephone. Since in my native ...
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3answers
35 views

What would be the proper way to address this situation?

The fact is that the price for that item is still $7.99. I saw the price in the past and the price didn't change. A. I saw that the price for that item was $7.99. B. I saw that the price for that ...
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3answers
198 views

past tense of “should”

I found the following in a grammar textbook under a unit about “should” as a modal verb: “I suggested that she should buy a car.” But it is stated there that the past tense of “should” is “should ...
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1answer
32 views

Reported speech change

"I was walking down the street this morning when I saw the accident" If this is changed into indirect speech "He told Sam he had been walking down…" does the part “when I saw the ...
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0answers
27 views

Doubt about backshift (reported speech) for events that are still on going [duplicate]

I have a doubt about using backshift in this following situation: Peter: "I have a good job now." Peter said that he had a good job now.............or................Peter said that he has a good ...
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0answers
29 views

Is it right to not change “tomorrow“ into “the next day” when it is indirect speech?

Is that sentence right or it is necessary to change “tomorrow”? He said that he would travel tomorrow. He said that he would travel the next day.
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1answer
38 views

“found out that she had a boyfriend” Vs “found out that she has a boyfriend”?

are both sentences below grammatically correct? Her parents found out that she had a boyfriend. Her parents found out that she has a boyfriend. If yes, I guess, the first sentence implies that she ...
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1answer
22 views

Using tenses correctly to describe some correct/incorrect events in the past

Here are two examples: I thought we had an exam. I didn't know (that) you liked her. The second example was taken from here. According to the discussions, it doesn't imply anything about the ...
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1answer
46 views

Reported Speech - Backshifting or not?

I've seen a lot of exceptions for the reported speech and I would like to debate and thereby clear the things that are on my mind regarding this subject. I've seen these types of "Rules" of ...
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0answers
37 views

Do people really use the grammar “Past Perfect+Past Simple”?

Grammar books say when something happens before something else, we should use had+past particle in the sentence that happened at first and then say the second sentence in past tense. Do people use it ...
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0answers
32 views

What tense should I use in an adverbial clause when Future in the Past used in the content clause?

In a sentences like John said that he would go abroad when he (will be | would be) twenty or I thought I would work in IT after I (graduated | will graduate | would graduate ) the university ...
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1answer
27 views

The usage of past perfect

Can you please tell me whether or not it is pertinent to use pluperfect tense here: I thought that more time than that had passed. Is the sentence grammatically correct? To give you a context: I ...
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0answers
16 views

Which sentence is correct? Should the tense be present or past?

She also averred that, on Thursdays, which was the day of the week of the alleged service . . . OR She also averred that, on Thursdays, which is the day of the week of the alleged service . . .
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0answers
17 views

“He mentioned that time and speeds are critical factors in successful deployment.”

He mentioned that time and speeds are critical factors in successful deployment. Is the above sentence correct or wrong?
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1answer
73 views

“Everybody thought we should sell” vs “Everybody thought we should have sold”

Everybody thought we should sell Everybody thought we should have sold While I was watching the news, I came to wonder about this question. As far as I know, the tense after "that" should be ...
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1answer
32 views

Have you explained why you did/have done/had done?

Let’s say I know my friend has broken up with his girlfriend. I don’t know when, but I know he has. I want to know whether or not he’s given her brother an explanation. What should I ask? Have you ...
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2answers
249 views

future in reported speech when reporting verb is in the past

I have read the following sentence: He said he will follow me to the end. AFAIK in reported speech, the future tense is replaced with the conditional tense when the reporting verb is in the past. ...
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1answer
42 views

Should I backshift with “If you ever wondered…”?

Do I use present or past tense after the phrase "If you ever wondered"? Examples: If you ever wondered what hell looks like, ... If you ever wondered what hell looked like, ...
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1answer
20 views

Past simple in specific reported speech

I'm writing a short story for a C2 Creative Writing course, and I couldn't help but come across this question regarding reported speech. My main question is this: consider someone says, "I ate the ...
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1answer
48 views

Sequence of tences

Should you say me which is correct? Our teacher said the place where we were going to stay IS supposed to have beautiful paysages. Our teacher said the place where we were going to stay WAS ...
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1answer
28 views

backshifting past simple in that clauses

Let' say someone tells you the following about another person called George: George was a good guy. If this person means that George was a good guy but he no longer is, do I have to backshift the ...
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1answer
391 views

She said that she has/had seen a tiger

Which one is more correct: 1) She said that she has seen a tiger. 2) She said that she had seen a tiger.
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2answers
42 views

Why 'can', not 'could' in “She told us that we can use the kitchen.”?

Why 'can', not 'could' in "She told us that we can use the kitchen."? I thought that since the main verb is 'told' that the following sentence after 'that~' should use the past tense, 'could', too. ...
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1answer
61 views

Tenses in 'Did I tell you what happened to me?'

Why can't we use Past Perfect in the second clause of the sentence 'Did I tell you what happened to me?' if the second clause happened before 'Did I tell you' As far as I know, we use Past ...
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1answer
15 views

sequence of tenses issue (called)

I am wondering Which one is correct "I had a traditional Filipino dish that is called tinolang manok." or "I had a traditional Filipino dish that was called tinolang manok." Are both sentences ...
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1answer
2k views

She told me that she HAS / HAD a gun [duplicate]

I edited this question, since the original (or current one, revised by ColleenV) post has this sentence. For instance, in “She told me that she has a gun”, I edited this sentence to For ...
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1answer
48 views

Should I use 'Told' instead of 'Said' in the following Indirect Narration Speech?

My classmate said to me,"Good morning,You have finished your homework". My classmate wished me good morning and told me/said that I had finished my homework. which is appropriate to be used?
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1answer
101 views

Which one is the correct form of reported speech for the following sentence?

Which one is the correct form of reported speech for the following sentence? why? "When were you born?", he asked him. => 1- He asked him when he had been born. 2- He asked him when he was born....
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1answer
150 views

“she was raped” or “she had been raped” in this reported speech

A) A 21 year old girl studying in Vidynagar alleged that she was raped by a boy in a hotel in the city on August 23. Based on above complaint police arrested accuse. B) A 21 year old girl ...
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2answers
41 views

Are both of these sentences correct?

I have to transform the following sentence into indirect speech: 'I haven't got any money',he said My transformation is : He said he hadn't got any money. The answer key only lists He said ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Backshifting in Reported Speech

The exec was making a presentation to the company board."Computers have allowed us to cut costs," he explained. "We expect even more dramatic improvements as computers become increasingly self-...
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2answers
286 views

“If I knew what you want/wanted to eat tonight”

Context: I am talking to my friends, trying to find out what she wants to eat tonight. "What do you want to eat tonight?" "You know what I want to eat." "If I knew what you wanted to eat, I ...
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1answer
6k views

“I askED him if he knowS…” or “knew” - which one is correct?

I don't know why but when I say "I asked him if he knew..." type of sentences making both verbs past tense, it seems like I am saying it wrong... I already used the past tense verb in the first part ...
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2answers
11k views

How old were you?

Let's say I knew how old somebody is at the moment, but I forgot it. In that case, I think I can ask, "How old were you?", am I right?
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3answers
1k views

Changing the verb for indirect quote/reported speech expressing habitual actions

The below-mentioned question is asked in my exam, I think my answer is correct, please tell if I am right, I have to challenge the question in 2 days if its answer given is wrong. correct answer is ...
3
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2answers
73 views

Should I treat quotes from God as universal truth for narration?

This is totally for my assignment not a theist atheist thing. Actually the sentence I need to narrate is Lord Shiva once said, "I am responsible for everything." Now Shiva is actually a Hindu god ...
2
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1answer
379 views

“until something” in reported speech

How can I transform the following sentence into reported speech? Let's say my colleague said to me: I will practice until I reach my goal If I want to say it in reported speech, should it be ...
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2answers
3k views

Facts in reported speech – to backshift or not

Are these two sentences grammatically correct? Mona told me that London was the biggest city in England. He wanted to know where Manchester was. I found these two sentences by chance in an exercise ...
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1answer
39 views

Reported speech uncertainty

Can you help me with these? Which of them are correct or sound more natural? How far into the sentence does the reported speech go- I feel like if I transform everything it changes the meaning and ...
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1answer
11k views

'would have had to

I found this passage from my reading book so it couldn't be wrong :D But I don't get it! It used to be that if you wanted to watch a movie, you'd have to watch it from your television. I think my ...
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1answer
4k views

Is the sentence 'Tom said he hadn't got any money' reported speech from 'Tom said, “I haven't got any money”'?

I came across this pair of sentences in 'Cambridge English Preliminary for Schools Trainer' by Sue Elliott and Liz Gallivan CUP 2012: Tom said he hadn't got any money. Tom said, 'I haven't got any ...
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1answer
20 views

incorrect time in the sentence?

This sentence is from some game manual: For example, if a player started a battle with a “XYZ” Order and then attempts diplomacy with the card bonus, he must retreat if he draws a "HJK" Is that ...
2
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1answer
131 views

Sequence of tenses for facts irrelevant of the moment of speech

Let's consider two sentences: (1) I suggested that the word zeitgeist was of German origin. (2) The lecturer said the Pluto's orbital period is more than 200 years. In both cases, the facts are ...
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2answers
224 views

He said that his job IS/WAS boring

before few weeks my friend said: "my job is boring" I need to report his speech to third person, What should I say? and why? He said that his job is boring. He said that his job was boring.
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3answers
3k views

“I thought you WRITE or WROTE poetry” - which is correct?

Could you tell me if I want to inquire a person what he does and he answers that he writes fiction and I tell him "I thought you wrote poetry." Or "I thought you WRITE poetry.", the action is in the ...