Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Unregistered
    Guest
    #1

    reported speech - tenses

    I am wondering why the writer is using both present and past tenses in this sentence

    John concurred that Mary's job prospects will improve with increased efforts and that indeed there did exist a wide range of administrative jobs in the marketplace

    Can I say "would improve"

    thank you

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 2,130
    #2

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    That should have been 'would improve'.

    not a teacher

  2. aziz abd's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 3,626
    #3

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I am wondering why the writer is using both present and past tenses in this sentence

    John concurred that Mary's job prospects will improve with increased efforts and that indeed there did exist a wide range of administrative jobs in the marketplace

    Can I say "would improve"

    thank you
    1) will improve is also correct as s/he refers to a time of improvement which still belongs to the future .The writer is still waiting for those improvements, too.
    2) Did exist is the past of "do exist".s.present becomes s.past.

    Here is an example :
    Aziz said :"I will go to South Africa"
    Aziz said that he will go to South Africa.
    The person reporting this knows that it is about the world cup, and it is still in the future.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #4

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    I am wondering why the writer is using both present and past tenses in this sentence

    John concurred that Mary's job prospects will improve with increased efforts and that indeed there did exist a wide range of administrative jobs in the marketplace

    Can I say "would improve"

    thank you
    Yes, you can and you should.

    I'd also suggest that the more correct reported version of:
    Aziz said :"I will go to South Africa" is
    Aziz said that he would go to South Africa.

  4. aziz abd's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 3,626
    #5

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    What about:
    Aziz said:"The Earth is oval".

  5. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #6

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    Quote Originally Posted by aziz abd View Post
    What about:
    Aziz said:"The Earth is oval".
    Aziz said that the Earth was oval.
    You could say "Aziz said that the Earth is oval", but that isn't how this is normally expressed in English.

    Galileo believed that the planets revolved around the earth.

    The reported clause takes the past tense form even if it refers to a timeless non-changing fact.

  6. aziz abd's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 3,626
    #7

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    Note:
    In some cases the backshift of tenses is not necessary, e.g. when statements are still true.
    John: "My brother is at Leipzig university."
    John said that his brother was at Leipzig university. or
    John said that his brother is at Leipzig university.
    or
    Mandy: "The sun rises in the East."
    Mandy said that the sun rose in the East. or
    Mandy said that the sun rises in the East.

  7. aziz abd's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 3,626
    #8

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    As for the future , you are right Ray .Thank you.

    "I'll be there at ten tomorrow."

    • (If it is later the same day) He said he would be there at ten tomorrow.
    • (If it is the next day) He said he would be there at ten today.

    Now compare these two sentences.

    • (If we are in a different place) He said he would be there tomorrow at ten.
    • (If we are in the place he is coming to) He said he would be here at ten tomorrow.


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Jun 2006
    • Posts: 2,130
    #9

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    aziz
    You can't compare 'Mary's job prospects' with the fact that the Earth is round or oval, surely.

  8. aziz abd's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Arabic
      • Home Country:
      • Morocco
      • Current Location:
      • Morocco

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 3,626
    #10

    Re: reported speech - tenses

    Sure , but the issue was about facts that are still waiting to take place in the present.The question is whether we use the past or the present in reporting them.
    As for the future, I agree with you and Ray (with some tiny doubts perhaps that have to do with my native language inferences).
    Last edited by aziz abd; 02-May-2010 at 09:31.

Similar Threads

  1. tenses, indirect speech and Q&A
    By riceball72 in forum Frequently Asked Questions
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-Nov-2009, 15:59
  2. [Grammar] Reported Speech Clarification
    By Navin in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-Sep-2008, 07:32
  3. Simple reported speech
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Mar-2008, 23:51
  4. If-clause, passive, reported speech
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Mar-2008, 09:43
  5. Some questions about Reported speech
    By suteja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 27-May-2007, 09:58

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •