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Thread: Reported Speech

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    Default Reported Speech


    I did some reading before posting this, but I sitll don't get the one below.

    I was watching CSI earlier and I heard this:

    What do these mean?
    I keep scratching my head and I can't figure this out:
    1. I was wondering how the investigation is going. (This is the one I saw on CSI, how come they didn't backshift the tense for 'is' ?)
    2. I was wondering how the investigation was going.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    I think we've talked about this before, Jack. If the action or condition mentioned is one that is continuing into the present, then the verb regression is optional; either is acceptable:

    She said the earth revolves on its axis once a day.
    She said the earth revolved on its axis once a day.

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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    Are these okay? If not, why? What do they mean?

    1. I learned that you usually don't have to add -s after 'of' ? (past/fact?)
    2. I learned that you usually didn't have to add -s after 'of' ? (past/past?)

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    http://valenciaenglish.netfirms.com/reported.htm
    Time and place references often have to change:


    What do they mean by that? Why do I have to change it?
    Example:

    I went to the theatre last night.
    He said he had gone to the theatre the night before.

    1. He said he had gone to the theatre last night. (So this is wrong? Why?)
    2. He said he had gone to the theatre the night before. (Why do I have to the time?)

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Reported Speech

    If you read through the 'English in Valencia' section on reported speech carefully, you'll see that you do not have to change verb tenses:

    Direct statements in a past tense do not always change either, because a change might alter the meaning or just make it sound confusing.
    Nor do they remain the same, if it is confusing.

    Direct speech: 'I went to the theatre last night.' (Today is Saturday; last night was Friday night.)

    Reported speech: 'He said he had gone to the theatre the night before.' (This is reported on Sunday; 'last night' is no longer Friday night, but Saturday night-- the incorrect night.)

    (1) is OK if it is still Saturday-- but then, we hardly need the past perfect at all, do we?
    (2) is correct if Saturday (the day of the direct speech) is past.

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