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Thread: Reported Speech

  1. #1
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Reported Speech

    "When I finish the book, I'm going to watch the television", said Carol.

    How would you transform this sentence into reported speech?

    I offer two different kinds of it:
    1) When she would finish the book, she was going to watch the television.
    2) When she finished the book, she was going to watch the television.

    But the book where I check the answer out said:

    When she had finished the book, she was going to watch the television.

    What do you think of it? I think the sentence the book provides is ungrammatical!

  2. #2
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    When she had finished the book, she was going to watch the television.

    Your book is right- the verb tenses agree better in the above. The only change I would make to the textbook answer would be to omit the final the before television. You don't actually watch the television set because it's not really doing anything. You watch the programming that is displayed on the screen of the television set, and we call that programming television.

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    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    When she had finished the book, she was going to watch the television.

    Your book is right- the verb tenses agree better in the above. The only change I would make to the textbook answer would be to omit the final the before television. You don't actually watch the television set because it's not really doing anything. You watch the programming that is displayed on the screen of the television set, and we call that programming television.
    Thanks so much for answering me, but could you please explain why the two answers I've given are not good...
    I checked the grammar rules out and I saw that if in the direct speech we have a present simple, like in our sentence, we have to transform the sentence using the past simple tense. So the present simple becomes past simple. Or if we consider the sentence above like a I type of "If clauses", the present simple should turn into a present conditional...and that's what I did. I followed these two rules and I offered two different solutions. Now, why to use a past perfect, ignoring both the rules?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    I don't agree at all: Carol said that when she finished her book, she was going to watch television.

    Why should it back shift all the way from present to past perfect? There is no need for past perfect here.
    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.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Why should it back shift all the way from present to past perfect? There is no need for past perfect here.
    Quite.

  6. #6
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Quite.
    So, the past simple is what most of you teachers think to be more suitable...
    What about the present conditional? Could it be possible? Or wouldn't you use it in this context?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    1. Very few of us consider that there is such a thing as the 'present conditional'.

    2. Your sentence, When she would finish the book, she was going to watch the television, is not natural.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    So, how should it be converted? Should it be this way? If she finished the book, she would watch television!

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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    The original staetment did not have "if."

    Carol said, "If I finish my book, I will watch TV."
    Carol said that if she finished her book, she would watch TV.
    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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