View Poll Results: She said her name...

Voters
20. This poll is closed
  • ...was Jill.

    11 55.00%
  • .... is Jill.

    9 45.00%
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Thread: Indirect Speech

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Which sounds more natural? Is there a difference?
    i think is sounds better

    my name is gonghai. that implies my name is still gonghai

    her name is gonghai. implies that she did not change her name and is still named gonghai

    her name was gonghai. implies that her name is no longer gonghai.

  2. #22
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    It could also imply that you think she was lying.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    It could also imply that you think she was lying.
    oh yeah.. if she is lying then she said her name was jill is correct

  4. #24
    tomcruise007123 Guest

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    "Was jill" here would mean that her name was jill and at present has changed.While "Is jill"means that her name is jill at present also.

  5. #25
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I'd agree with that.

  6. #26
    yulia Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    The time of the rewporting is very important with the name example- it makes much more sense if the person is still present and you're sure to keep it in the present. If reporting a few days later, for instance, the past might make sense. It depends on how you feel about the speech act you are reporting, IMO. The best thing is to be flexible and change tenses for a reason, rather than do it on autopilot.
    But you must be sure that the time that you use is correct. One cannot be flexible only because in this case you sentence will not look so boring. One must change the tenses only when he/she feels that in this certain situation that change would be correct & suitable. :)
    In this case I've chosen "was". I think that it should be "was" because this situation doesn't imply any particular case in the past. It says: "She said her name was ..." I think it's correct. I could've chosen the present tense, had there been any proof of that fact that it has any relation to the present. But it doesn't, in my opinion. :wink:
    I'd be glad if you corrected me if I'm wrong and would prove a 100% reason for using the present tense in this particular situation or in any other similar situations as well. :D

  7. #27
    yulia Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    The belief that all the words in a sentence should be the same tense is a mistaken one.

    8)
    I wonder, who thinks so?
    The tenses should be used in the correct forms, which doesn't imply that fact that if the first sentence was in the past, the rest of the clause should be in the past as well. They should be used correctly, which is the problem for most of the users, especially for not native speakers, unless they indeed know the grammar very well. :P

  8. #28
    yulia Guest

    Default Re: Indirect Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by gonghai
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Which sounds more natural? Is there a difference?
    i think is sounds better

    my name is gonghai. that implies my name is still gonghai

    her name is gonghai. implies that she did not change her name and is still named gonghai

    her name was gonghai. implies that her name is no longer gonghai.
    Yes, you surely know what your name is. But how do we know that you're not lying? You know, what I imply is that there must be a proof of that fact that she's still Jill, which we obviously don't have in this sentence. :wink:

  9. #29
    Domaren Guest

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    I voted for "was" rather than "is" because in the most commonly occurring contexts that will be the correct choice.

    The most commonly occurring context is reporting speech that happened clearly in the past: "In January I met a man who said his name was John."

    Substitute "is" for "was" and it sounds plain wrong.

    Contrast a situation where one police officer joins his colleague who has apprehended a nasty villain. He asks his colleague who this nasty villain is. The colleague replies, "He said his name was/is John Doe."

    In the latter context, "is" is the more natural choice because the reported event is not, as dduck says, firmly in the past. However, this is no simple matter of whether the person whose speech is being reported is present. If the two officers stepped into another room and had the discussion, I would suggest that "is" remains the preferable option.

    So, whilst there are examples where "is" is clearly the better option and examples where "was" is clearly the better option, there is a thin grey line between the two that has the potential for confusion.

  10. #30
    Domaren Guest

    Default Reported clauses other than simple present tense

    The continuous forms of the tenses vary according to whether the it remains continuous at the time of reporting. For example, "I am looking forward to seeing you two, " can be reported as, "He said that he is looking forward to seeing us," if we have not yet seen him.

    If we have seen him, the speech is reported as follows: "He said that he was looking forward to seeing us."

    Nice and easy. Interestingly, however, (just to throw some more complication into the pot) I could also use the following if we have not yet seen him: "He says that he is looking forward to seeing us."

    The only situation in which "says" could not be substituted for "said" is one in which he is no longer looking forward to seeing us (either because he has seen us or because an event has occurred to make him no longer look forward to seeing us). In such circumstances, "is" should become "was".

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