Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 23
    #1

    Reported speech for future

    Hi, Everybody!
    I have problem with reported speech. Look at this:

    She said: 'The English test will be easy'.
    She said that the English test would be easy. --> this is how I reported the sentence.

    But my English teacher said that I should write:

    She said that the English test will be easy (because the English test will be on Thursday and I say it on Monday).

    Is that right? Unfortunately, I cannot find any confirmation for this.
    Thank you:)

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: Reported speech for future

    Both are possible, and so your version was correct.. If the future situation is still in the future at the time of reporting, then backshifting is correct, but not essential. If the future situation has passed at the time of reporting, then backshifting is necessary.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 6,332
    #3

    Re: Reported speech for future

    [QUOTE=eFFcia;812945]


    She said: 'The English test will be easy'.
    She said that the English test would be easy. --> this is how I reported the sentence.

    But my English teacher said that I should write:

    She said that the English test will be easy (because the English test will be on Thursday and I say it on Monday).

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) I think that I have good news: you are correct, and your teacher is correct.

    (2) Mr. Michael Swan in his popular Practical English Usage gives this example:

    Direct speech: It will be windy tomorrow.

    Indirect speech: The forecast said it will/would be windy tomorrow.

    (3) If you want to follow the rule (as you did), the "correct" answer would be

    "would" because your sentence uses "said" (the past).

    (4) But many people (such as your teacher) feel that it makes common sense to

    keep the future in the future: He told me that he will be here at 6 p.m. tomorrow.

    (5) Of course, you have to do what your teacher wants in order to pass the test, but

    you should be proud of the fact that you know the rule that many people follow.

    ***

    On Monday, Sue tells Joe: I am sick.

    On Tuesday, Joe tells Alicia: Sue said that she is/was sick.

    (a) If Sue is still sick on Tuesday, many people would use "is."
    (b) If Sue were not still sick on Tuesday, one would, of course, use "was."
    (c) But if you used "was" in either case, you would be correct -- according to the
    rules.

    Edit: Many thanks to Teacher Fivejedjon and Member Dawnngcm for telling me that I had written the wrong first name for Mr. Swan. I have corrected the mistake.
    Last edited by TheParser; 18-Oct-2011 at 20:01.

  2. JohnParis's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • France

    • Join Date: Oct 2011
    • Posts: 773
    #4

    Re: Reported speech for future

    Hello eFFcia,
    I think your teacher was trying to illustrate that the test will take place in the future even though you are reporting on what she said (in the past). Whether the test is in an hour or in 2050, according to her, "the test will be easy".
    One of the first things to take into account when asked to write reported speech are precision and brevity. Grammatical considerations will follow. Try and imagine yourself as a reporter who has "the story of the century". However, your editor will allocate only 2 columns of space (or 15 seconds on TV) for your earthshaking news. To report your news accurately, you will need to keep it short and simple, repeat exactly what was said ("will be easy") and remember that you are reporting on what the teacher said about an act that will take place in the future.

    John
    Last edited by JohnParis; 18-Oct-2011 at 16:41. Reason: additional words

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #5

    Re: Reported speech for future

    I see the points made by TheParser and JohnParis, but I think eFFcia's teacher was wrong in saying he he should write "will". There is no should about it; "would" is acceptable.
    Last edited by 5jj; 18-Oct-2011 at 20:19.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 23
    #6

    Re: Reported speech for future

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    I see the points made by TheParser and JohnParis, but I think eFFcia's teacher was wrong in saying he he should write "will". There is no should about it; "would" is acceptable.
    Frankly speaking, I have no idea which words exactly my English teacher used:) but she meant that I made a mistake writing 'would'.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Jan-2011, 19:35
  2. shall in reported speech
    By hilti955 in forum Teaching English
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-Jan-2010, 20:01
  3. Reported speech and Direct speech?
    By easygoing in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Nov-2008, 20:58
  4. indirect speech is equivalent with reported speech?
    By Mad-ox in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Jun-2007, 17:16
  5. reported speech
    By fab54 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-Nov-2004, 10:54

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •