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    reported speech


    I know we don't usually change the tense in reported speech when we talk about something that is always true, e.g. 'He said that Monday is the first day of the week.'

    But what about actions or states that are not general, but personal, e.g.: 'He said he lived in Italy' or 'He said he lives in Italy',
    or: He said he loved films' or 'He said he loves films'.
    Which are correct?

    Thanks a lot,

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: reported speech

    The back shift if not mandatory. It's okay to do it; it's okay to leave the tense alone.

    If it relates to a current situation, you could keep it present.
    Do you think David will like this movie?
    I thinks so. He said he loves foreign films.

    If it's general information, you could back shift.
    How did your date with the new guy go?
    Good. We had a long conversation about movies. He said he loved Katharine Hepburn movies and loved foreign films, too. If we run out of things to talk about, we can always watch movies.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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