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    #1

    problems with reported speech

    Hello,

    I'm having difficulty with some sentences that use the indirect speech.

    1). She says, "I'll meet you tomorrow at five".
    She said that she would meet me the next day at five.

    What if she said that yesterday and I'm reporting her words now? (We are meeting at five today). Are both alternatives possible?

    She said she will meet me today at five.
    She said she would meet me today at five.

    2). He says, "I'm leaving on Monday. I've already bought the tickets".
    How should I report his words (considering it's the end of the week now?) Is the sentece below possible?

    He said he was leaving on Monday.

    I'd be most grateful if someone could help me.
    Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: problems with reported speech

    She said she will meet me today at five.
    She said she would meet me today at five.
    They're both fine,but I would use the first if the appointment was still gooing ahead and the second if plans had changed, though others may feel differently.

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    #3

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Thank you! I got it. But how would you report the second sentece?

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    #4

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    2). He says, "I'm leaving on Monday. I've already bought the tickets".
    How should I report his words (considering it's the end of the week now?) Is the sentece below possible?

    He said he was leaving on Monday.
    Yes.

    If it is said after the Monday, that is the only acceptable tense.
    If it is said at the end of the week before the following Monday, you can use either 'was' or 'is'.

    This is similar to what Tdol said about your other sentence.

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    #5

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    She said she will meet me today at five.
    She said she would meet me today at five.
    For careful/formal usage, #2.

    Informally, however, few speakers nowadays would object to #1.

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    #6

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    For careful/formal usage, #2.

    Informally, however, few speakers nowadays would object to #1.
    I don't think it is particularly a question of formality.

    If her words are reported before five o'clock, then She said she will meet me today at five does not seem to me to be any less formal than She said she would meet me today at five.
    Last edited by 5jj; 20-May-2011 at 20:18. Reason: typo

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    #7

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Thank you for the replies!

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    #8

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I don't think it is particularly a question of formality.
    No?

    I would submit that, in general, observance of tense concord is very much a feature of careful/formal usage, and one that serves ultimately to protect us from such solecisms as

    *I never knew he's so rich.

    (for correct: ...he was...)

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    #9

    Re: problems with reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    I would submit that, in general, observance of tense concord is very much a feature of careful/formal usage, and one that serves ultimately to protect us from such solecisms as

    *I never knew he's so rich.

    (for correct: ...he was...)
    I would agree that observance of tense concord is the safest thing for learners. Whether or not it is a feature of careful/formal usage seems to me to be a matter of opinion.

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    #10

    Smile Re: problems with reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I would agree that observance of tense concord is the safest thing for learners.
    We appear at least to agree on the most important point!

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