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Thread: Reported speech

  1. #1
    niceguyjin is offline Newbie
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    Default Reported speech

    I have a question about reported speech. I think my textbook might be incorrect.

    My textbook question says: Use indirect speech to report the conversation. Assume only a few minutes have passed between when the conversation happened and now.

    Question: Paul: "Do you want to have a drink after work?"

    Textbook answer: Paul asked if she wanted to have a drink after work.

    This answer looks OK, BUT, remember only a few minutes have passed since the original conversation and now, so the act of having a drink after work must pertain to the future.

    The same textbook explains a grammar rule that when a statement pertains to the future, the verb doesn't have to be backshifted a tense.

    So shouldn't the answer be: Paul asked if she wants to have a drink after work.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. #2
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Reported speech

    The backshifting is more likely. The wanting enquired about was at the (past) time of the asking.

  3. #3
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Reported speech

    I agree that the backshifting is more likely, but that does mean that no change works too.

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