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    #1

    Past reported speech

    Hello,

    Could a native speaker help me with this question?

    Let's take this direct speech statement:
    Laura: "I would do it now if you wanted me to."


    Which of the following reported-speech statements derived from the above is/are natural?

    The reported-speech statement is said many months later, when Laura's offer has expired (is no longer valid).

    If more than one is natural, please say so!


    1) Laura said she would do it then if he wanted her to.

    2) Laura said she would have done it then if he wanted her to.

    3) Laura said she would do it then if he had wanted her to.

    4) Laura said she would have done it then if he had wanted her to.



    What about formal vs informal style?

    Thank you!
    Last edited by enthink; 25-Mar-2011 at 10:28.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Hello,

    Could a native speaker help me with this question?

    Let's take this direct speech statement:
    Laura: "I would do it now if you wanted me to."


    Which of the following reported-speech statements derived from the above is/are natural?

    The reported-speech statement is said many months later, when Laura's offer has expired (is no longer valid).

    If more than one is natural, please say so!


    1) Laura said she would do it then if he wanted her to.

    2) Laura said she would have done it then if he wanted her to.

    3) Laura said she would do it then if he had wanted her to.

    4) Laura said she would have done it then if he had wanted her to.



    What about formal vs informal style?

    Thank you!
    I would use #4 for preference.

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    #3

    Re: Past reported speech

    Thanks. Does that mean that the other options are not natural?

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    #4

    Re: Past reported speech

    #4 - because all verbs agree in time.

    But your original statement:
    "I would do it now if you wanted me to."

    should be

    "I would do it now if you want me to."

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    #5

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by susiedqq View Post
    But your original statement:
    "I would do it now if you wanted me to."

    should be

    "I would do it now if you want me to."
    Why? The speaker knows he doesn't want her to do it at that moment and considers it unreal or highly unlikely then and in the future. That should be the irrealis pattern (would + past tense), shouldn't it?

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Why? The speaker knows he doesn't want her to do it at that moment and considers it unreal or highly unlikely then and in the future. That should be the irrealis pattern (would + past tense), shouldn't it?
    I would use "I would do it now if you wanted me to" and "I will do it now if you want me to". That's not to say that "I would do it now if you want me to" is wrong, but I wouldn't use it.
    Last edited by bhaisahab; 25-Mar-2011 at 19:32.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Thanks. Does that mean that the other options are not natural?
    #4 is better, but you will hear #2. Some native speakers do not use the past perfect as much as grammar books suggest they do. I recommend that you do not follow their example.

    #3 is not possible.

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    #8

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    #4 is better, but you will hear #2. Some native speakers do not use the past perfect as much as grammar books suggest they do. I recommend that you do not follow their example.

    #3 is not possible.
    Very informative, thanks. Do you have any comment on #1?

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Very informative, thanks. Do you have any comment on #1?
    Sorry; I thought that others had commented on #1. Like bbhaisahab, I would use your original version, not susiedqq's.

    My answer to your question is that
    I probably would not say #1, but others do.
    The 'rules' on reported speech, in conversation at least, are far more flexible than some books suggest.

    Incidentally, look at the words that I have coloured blue. They do not fit into any common pattern covered in course books, but they are perfectly acceptable, in my opinion.

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    #10

    Re: Past reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by enthink View Post
    Hello,


    1) Laura said she would do it then if he wanted her to.

    2) Laura said she would have done it then if he wanted her to.

    3) Laura said she would do it then if he had wanted her to.

    4) Laura said she would have done it then if he had wanted her to.
    Not a teacher
    I think that 1 is correct. Why? Because If we choose 4 then how will we handle this one -

    Laura: "I would have done it now if you had wanted me to."

    We would have two similar sentences eventually while we have two different sentences initially.

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