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    #1

    he asked when it happened

    Hello,

    I'm wondering which sentence a native speaker would go for when reporting the following question:

    "When did it happen?"

    (1) He asked when it happened.
    (2) He asked when it had happened.

    Thank you.

  1. AlexAD's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: he asked when it happened

    Not a teacher nor a native.

    I like the question! It has an interest for me as well.

    Let me just take a wild stab in the dark, I think Americans would choose the first one while some minority of British people would say the second one.

    Looking forward to seeing any comments from native speakers.

    Thanks, Alex.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: he asked when it happened

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Hello,

    I'm wondering which sentence a native speaker would go for when reporting the following question:

    "When did it happen?"

    (1) He asked when it happened.
    (2) He asked when it had happened.

    Thank you.
    I would use (2).

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    #4

    Re: he asked when it happened

    Thank you. Could you please comment on your choice? I know that the past simple can usually stay the same in reported speech, or we can change it to the past perfect, especially if the time relationships are clear without the change. They are clear to me in my example; I don't think anyone might conclude that the speaker asks about the present, which might lead to some ambiguity.
    I wish I could feel the difference, but I can't

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: he asked when it happened

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Thank you. Could you please comment on your choice? I know that the past simple can usually stay the same in reported speech, or we can change it to the past perfect, especially if the time relationships are clear without the change. They are clear to me in my example; I don't think anyone might conclude that the speaker asks about the present, which might lead to some ambiguity.
    Both are fine in normal conversation. You'll possibly find that teachers use the past perfect more. It appears in course books so often that some of us begin to believe that it's necessary.
    Last edited by 5jj; 07-Jul-2011 at 14:57.

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