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  1. #1
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    Default He said he wants or wanted?

    Hi All,

    Sometimes we speak english, we'd like to express someone's conversation in the past...I was wondering how to handle the tense....for instance....he said he wanted to buy something or he said he wants to buy something, I'd like to know which sentence is correct?

    Regards,

    William

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: He said he wants or wanted?

    The first for formal/careful use, the second (acceptable) for informal.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: He said he wants or wanted?

    The first for formal/careful use, the second (acceptable) for informal.

    Are you sure??

    A different tense to express informality in this situation??
    Or is it: when, in time, were these two different sentences spoken, that a different tense is required?

    (and here comes another demerit...or the boot!)
    Last edited by Excalibur; 23-Nov-2009 at 06:31.

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: He said he wants or wanted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Williamyh View Post
    Hi All,

    Sometimes when we speak english, we'd like to express someone's conversation in the past...I was wondering how to handle the tense....for instance....he said he wanted to buy something or he said he wants to buy something, I'd like to know which sentence is correct?

    Regards,

    William
    It's not about correctness. It's about the appropriate response in the situation. Example:
    .
    I saw William yesterday, and he spoke to me. He said he wanted to buy something.
    Or (present tense):
    .
    A: What did he say?
    B: He said he wants to buy something.

    Does that help?



  5. #5
    accomplish is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: He said he wants or wanted?

    Originally Posted by williamyh
    Hi All,

    Sometimes when we speak english, we'd like to express someone's conversation in the past...I was wondering how to handle the tense....for instance....he said he wanted to buy something or he said he wants to buy something, I'd like to know which sentence is correct?

    Regards,

    William

    Hi william¡
    In report speech the verb usually changes tense, and move one step back into the past
    eg
    he wants to buy something----> he said he wanted to buy something
    (present) ( past)

    I hope it would be helpful for you¡

  6. #6
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: He said he wants or wanted?

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    The first for formal/careful use, the second (acceptable) for informal.

    Are you sure??
    Yes, quite sure, thank you: the first is structurally correct by the the standards of formal English, the second structurally acceptable by those of informal English.

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