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Thread: Reported speech

  1. #1
    Bartfrompoland is offline Newbie
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    Default Reported speech

    Hello everybody!I got some question about come and go in Reported Speech.

    How to report this statement.

    "She came here yesterday"

    He said that she went there the previous day or He said that she had gone ....

    "They come to visit me"

    He said that they go to visit me or He said that they went to visit me?

    Please respond asap.Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Reported speech

    Hi Bart.
    Welcome to Using English.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bartfrompoland View Post
    Hello everybody!I have some question about come and go in Reported Speech.

    How to report this statement.

    "She came here yesterday"

    He said that she went there the previous day or He said that she had gone ....
    This depends on whether you are still where "he" was when he made the statement. "He said that she had come here the previous day/the prior day/the day before" OR "He said that she had gone there..." If the person who said it, you, and I are in that spot, than "come here" is okay. Note my back-shift of tenses.


    "They come to visit me"

    He said that they go to visit me or He said that they went to visit me?
    This is the same problem. From the perspective of the original speaker, it's come. You could keep the present tense with this one, since it implies habitual action, unless you know that it no longer happens.
    Please respond asap.Thanks.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Bartfrompoland is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Reported speech

    Thank you :)

    Which change is correct?

    come (present simple) --> go or went?
    came (past simple) ----> had gone ?

    I will be grateful.

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    Default Re: Reported speech

    Generally, we shift the tense back from past to past perfect.

    "We went there last Tuesday." She said they had gone there the prior Tuesday.


    However, when you have simple present to show habitual action, you can leave it as simple present, as long as it's still true.

    "We go there every summer." She said that they go there every summer.

    If it's no longer true, shift back to simple past.
    Back in 1909, my grandmother, then a little girl said "We go there every summer."
    When she was a little girl, my grandmother said that they went there every summer.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    Bartfrompoland is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Reported speech

    Example from Viriginia evan's book - CPE Use of English 1

    "When I first came(Past simple) here",Susan said,"I had a hard time with the language ,but now that I've been here for five years ,I find I can communicate without any difficulty"

    ansewer from key:
    Susan explained that when she first went(<--- why not had gone but went,is time shift when we change come -->> go?) there she had had a hard time with the language but since she had been there for five years she found she could communicate without any difficulty.

    Second question how to report the following statement:

    "Let's not tell anyone"

    She/He advised me not to tell anyone --> is it good option?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartfrompoland View Post
    Second question how to report the following statement:

    "Let's not tell anyone"

    She/He advised me not to tell anyone --> is it good option?
    ♥♦♣♠ NOT A TEACHER ♥♦♣♠
    You might also try:
    She/He suggested not telling anyone.

    Let + us = suggestion.

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    Default Re: Reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartfrompoland View Post
    Example from Viriginia evan's book - CPE Use of English 1

    "When I first came(Past simple) here",Susan said,"I had a hard time with the language ,but now that I've been here for five years ,I find I can communicate without any difficulty"

    ansewer from key:
    Susan explained that when she first went(<--- why not had gone but went,is time shift when we change come -->> go?) there she had had a hard time with the language but since she had been there for five years she found she could communicate without any difficulty.
    Look at the initial sentence this way, Bartfrompoland:
    Susan said, "I had a hard time with the language when I first came here, but now that I've been here for five years, I find I can communicate without any difficulty."

    when I first came here functions as a time clause in that sentence. If we knew that it was in 2000 that she first went there, we might say:
    Susan said, "I had a hard time with the language in 2000, but now that I've been here for five years, I find I can communicate without any difficulty."

    So, in such cases, you do not backshift the tense, but you do the things that Barb_D writes about in one of her posts above - here becomes there, and so the verb came becomes went.

    Remember - you do not backshift the tense in time clauses.

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