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  1. vectra's Avatar
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    #1

    Past Perfect in reported speech

    Hello,

    Here is a part of a conversation:

    "Do you like your course?"
    "Well, the course is all right, though I'm not as interested in History as I thought I was," Jane said.

    If I change it into Reported speech:
    Sarah asked Jane if she liked her course. Jane said the course was all right, though she was not as interested in History as she had thought/thought she had been/was.

    Does using Past Perfect back-to-back in this sentence make sense? Or is it possible to say:"she was not interested in History as she had thought she was"?

    Thank you for the time and help.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past Perfect in reported speech

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello,

    Here is a part of a conversation:

    "Do you like your course?"
    "Well, the course is all right, though I'm not as interested in History as I thought I was," Jane said.

    If I change it into Reported speech:
    Sarah asked Jane if she liked her course. Jane said the course was all right, though she was not as interested in History as she had thought/thought she had been/was.

    Does using Past Perfect back-to-back in this sentence make sense? Or is it possible to say:"she was not interested in History as she had thought she was"?

    Thank you for the time and help.
    I wouldn't actually change that last "thought" to "had thought".

    Sarah asked Jane if she liked her course. Jane said the course was all right, though she was not as interested in History as she thought she was.

  3. vectra's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Past Perfect in reported speech

    Hello,

    Could you please explain why you would not change that last "thought" to "had thought".
    These sentences are the ones my students did today on a module test. Their logic is very straightforward-if the main reporting verb is in the past tense, all the verbs that follow it usually take a step back.
    Intuitively, I feel this rule does not work in all cases, but sometimes I have to give a more detailed explanation. I have a gut feeling there moght be questions regarding this task.

    Thank you in advance.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Past Perfect in reported speech

    This is the difference between use of English and technically correct English. I have repeated the two sentences over and over to myself (and to my flatmate!) and we both agree that we would simply never say "had thought" in that sentence.

    Sadly, neither of us can explain why! I'm sorry I can't be more help on that one. I'm sure someone else will be.

  5. vectra's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Past Perfect in reported speech

    Thanks a lot anyway!

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Past Perfect in reported speech

    As I have said in other threads, native speakers are not as precise about using the past perfect as some grammar books suggest they might be. If I had answered (past perfect obligatory here) your question three hours ago, I might have given a slightly different answer from emsr2d2's. If I were to answer it now, I might give the same answer as emsr2d2 did.

    This is not a problem for native speakers.

    It is a problem for teachers whose students have read the 'rules' and are unhappy when they find 'exceptions'. I used to tell my students that, if they followed the 'rules', they would almost never be wrong, but they should not be surprised if they heard native speakers not following the 'rules'.

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