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Thread: reported speech

  1. #1
    aysaa is offline Senior Member
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    Default reported speech

    Hi,

    Reported Speech

    My question is is it true that we may not change the tense 'simple past' even if the situation has passed?

    'I lost my money 2 days ago', he said to me.
    He said that he (had) lost his money 2 days before.

    P.S: Not the same day.

  2. #2
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: reported speech

    If the event reported is now in the past, we generally backshift all tenses. However, some native speakers do not always change past tenses into past perfect tenses if the sequence of events is clear. I would suggest that learners do backshift.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: reported speech

    It's right that some people don't always do it, but it can also be hard to hear the difference between he lost and he'd lost in connected speech- many will be doing it but it is almost unnoticeable. I think 5jj's advice is sound because if you don't backshift, there's always a chance that people will think you don't know, and it would be marked as an error by some- so play safe.

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