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    #1

    He said that time is/was money

    Benjamin Franklin said, "Time is money."


    According to English grammar that I learned, the above sentence can be changed into indirect speach.


    Benjamin Franklin said that time is money. ("time is money" is a proverb and not affected by the theory of sequence of tenses.)


    But I found "Benjamin Franklin said that time was money," on the Internet. Is this acceptable as well?
    Last edited by Snappy; 13-Aug-2009 at 14:41.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He said that time is/was money

    Quote Originally Posted by Snappy View Post
    Benjamin Franklin said, "Time is money."


    According to English grammar that I learned, the above sentence can be changed into indirect speach.


    Benjamin Franklin said that time is money. ("time is money" is a proverb and not affected by the theory of sequence of tenses.)


    But I found "Benjamin Franklin said that time was money," on the Internet. Is this acceptable as well?
    Yes, because he did say that - (If he did).
    What you can't do is write: "Benjamin Franklin said, "Time was money".
    There's no rule that you can't paraphrase proverbs or quotes.
    JFK: "Ich bin ein Berliner". JFK said he was a Berliner.


    • Join Date: Apr 2009
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    #3

    Re: He said that time is/was money

    Just to add to what Raymott said...

    Also, when you use reported speech and use a past tense reporting verb (said, etc.), you are not automatically required to shift the verb in the main part of the sentence into the past. If what is being expressed is something that has not changed or is always true or has an element of permanence to it, it is fairly common for people to leave the verb in the reported clause in the present tense. Native speakers do it all the time. That doesn't mean it's wrong to shift the verb into the past, but the Grammar Police aren't going to haul you away if you don't.

    Greg

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