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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Sequence of tenses (#2)

    You're most welcome.

  2. #12
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Sequence of tenses (#2)

    Quote Originally Posted by gorikaz View Post
    Thank you for clarifying the matter.

    You're welcome, Gorikaz.

    By the way, is this rule applied to the following cases as well? I just wondered...
    1) At your age, I did not study so hard as you do.
    2) Japan was more exciting place than it is today.
    In the above 1) and 2) cases, is there anything wrong if I change "do" to "did" and "is" to "was," following the rules of the sequence of tense? As you said before, it is a matter related to the nuances of language though...
    In the examples above, if you mean that you want to change the verbs that I've put in bold,

    1) At your age, I did not study so hard as you did.
    2) Japan was more exciting place than it was today.

    then you cannot change them and keep the same meaning as in your examples. These are are not examples of reported speech. This again illustrates that reported speech is not a shift to an actual past tense verb. In the case of reported speech, using a past tense, eg "I was going to ..." doesn't give us the meaning that "I was going to ..." nornmally has when it is used in contexts where there is no reported speech.

  3. #13
    riverkid is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Sequence of tenses (#2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post
    There's even a blog about it here, Reported Speech; a tense issue, with 'tense' meaning stressful. According to the author, "some people accept" the following tendency as standard, whereas "others resist it":
    "tendency to retain the original tense when the action reported is known to still occur, or to have not yet occurred, at the time of reporting:


    He said the sun rises in the east;

    she said the national debt will be eliminated in 2005."
    Yet another website that doesn't seem to be worth the bytes that it's written with, Casi.

    To remind the uninitiated and the rusty, the tense of the verb in a statement is, as a general rule, shifted back in time in reported speech. The present tense becomes past because, at the time it is reported, the statement is in the past and the situation reported must therefore be in the past, too (although it may also continue into the present). Therefore, I often visit Paris becomes He said he often visited Paris.
    Quite obviously, there is no 'must' involved in whether we make the shift or not. Again, they use the same specious reasoning, that "the situation reported must therefore be in the past". That we can directly report and that we can indirectly report with no shift illustrates that they are mistaken.

    Casi wrote (?)
    Some people accept the change, others do not. Reported speech is in a state of flux.

    In short, there are the rules and there are the exceptions to the rule. Some people accept them as standard, whereas others resist them. Now, the choice is up to you. You have to decide.
    Reported speech is not in any state of flux. They are simply prescribing, relying on a terribly misguided set of 'rules' that were concocted without regard for how languae actually works. For traditional/prescriptive grammar, this has, all too often, been the case. Sad but true.

    Right Words: Reported speech; a tense issue

    In the same way, I will visit Paris becomes He said he would visit Paris, where ‘would’ is the past tense of ‘will’; and I have visited Paris becomes He said he had visited Paris, where ‘had’ is the past tense of ‘have’.
    Yet more errors from this site; 'would' is not the past tense of 'will'. Modals are tenseless. I showed in my last post how these shifts have nothing to do with past tense/past time.

    A: I will visit Paris.

    B: He said he would visit Paris.

    Two weeks later, after he has visited Paris, is it possible for A to say,

    A: *I would visit Paris.*

    Is it possible for B to say,

    B: *He would visit Paris.*

    to describe that he has visited Paris. No, of course it isn't. The switch to 'would' has nothing to do with a past tense. It is ONLY a past tense FORM, which in English, illustrates that reported speech is being used.

    Do you want to see how badly this site is at analyzing language. Read their page on the relative pronouns, that/which, at,


    Right Words: Using 'which' and 'that'

    They are out to lunch on this issue too.
    Last edited by riverkid; 11-Mar-2007 at 06:34.

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