# Thread: a question about the backshift

1. ## a question about the backshift

I thought he would have finished his work by then.

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With referenece to the above sentence I would appreciate it if you would kindly let me know how I should write it in case the underlined part is still future in the time of utterance.

2. ## Re: a question about the backshift

Originally Posted by sariputra
I thought he would have finished his work by then.

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With referenece to the above sentence I would appreciate it if you would kindly let me know how I should write it in case the underlined part is still future in the time of utterance.
I thought he would finish his work..- future in the past

3. ## Re: a question about the backshift

Originally Posted by sariputra
I thought he would have finished his work by then.

***************************

With referenece to the above sentence I would appreciate it if you would kindly let me know how I should write it in case the underlined part is still future in the time of utterance.

To make my question clearer I would like to change it as follows;

I thought ------------------------------- (1)
he will have finished by 2009 ------------- (2)

Considering the sequence of tenses, how should I[we] combine the above two clauses?

For your reference, the year 2009 indicates that the clause No.(2) is still future in the time of utterance.

4. ## Re: a question about the backshift

Originally Posted by sariputra
To make my question clearer I would like to change it as follows;

I thought ------------------------------- (1)
he will have finished by 2009 ------------- (2)

Considering the sequence of tenses, how should I[we] combine the above two clauses?

For your reference, the year 2009 indicates that the clause No.(2) is still future in the time of utterance.
I think he will have finished by 2009, or

I think he is going to have finished by 2009.

5. ## Re: a question about the backshift

Originally Posted by teia_petrescu
I think he will have finished by 2009, or

I think he is going to have finished by 2009.
Thank you, teia_petrescu, for your kind responses. However please attention to the past time of ' I thought'

6. ## Re: a question about the backshift

Originally Posted by sariputra
Thank you, teia_petrescu, for your kind responses. However please attention to the past time of ' I thought'

You are welcome!

Thought is the past tense of think. You cannot use thought instead of think in the following sentence:

I think he will have finished by 2009, 0r

I thought he would have finished by 2009,

speaking in terms of the sequence of tenses.

7. ## Re: a question about the backshift

In other words, backshifting has to do with direct quotations of utterances:

Direct: "I think ..."
Indirect: I said I thought he would have finished / was going to finish his work.

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