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    #1

    How to report: He said, "She came here yesterday'?

    He said, "She came here yesterday."

    Is the following sentence correct when the above sentence is reported?

    He said that she had gone there the day before.

    If it is not, how should it be reported?

    Thanks.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: How to report: He said, "She came here yesterday'?

    It depends.

    If 'here' is where the reporter is, and 'yesterday' is the day before the reporting, then it could simply be, " He said (that) she came here yesterday".

    However, if if the reporter is not 'here', and the reporting takes place at a later time, then your version is fine.

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    #3

    Re: How to report: He said, "She came here yesterday'?

    He said that she had come there the day before.

    Coming is motion toward a place, whereas going is motion away from it, whether the place is "here", "there", or even "yonder". The verb should be preserved. For example: "I came to Hong Kong yesterday". It is said that I came to Hong Kong yesterday. It was said that I had come to Hong Kong the day before. It was said that I had come there the day before.

    The other possibility, of course, is He said that she had come here the day before. Whether "here" or "there" depends on where "he" is.

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    #4

    Re: How to report: He said, "She came here yesterday'?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    He said that she had come there the day before.

    Coming is motion toward a place, whereas going is motion away from it, whether the place is "here", "there", or even "yonder". The verb should be preserved. For example: "I came to Hong Kong yesterday". It is said that I came to Hong Kong yesterday. It was said that I had come to Hong Kong the day before. It was said that I had come there the day before.
    No. If the person reporting the 'coming' is in New York, then s/he has the choice of seeing her/himself in Hong Kong ("X said that I had come to Hong Kong") or in New York ("X said that I had gone to Hong Kong").
    The other possibility, of course, is He said that she had come here the day before. Whether "here" or "there" depends on where "he" is.
    If, as you say, we have a choice between 'here' and 'there', then we have a similar choice between 'come' (here) and 'go' (there).

    There are no hard and fast rules with reported speech; so much depends on the speaker's/writer's perception of events. The 'rules' given in course books are useful guides to what people frequently say/write, no more. The same words can be reported in different ways; for example:

    Situation:
    Jutta lives in Stuttgart. Jon lives in London.
    18 March, 2009: Jon flies to Stuttgart to see Jutta.
    19 March, 2009, Jutta says to Donald, "Jon came to Stuttgart to see me yesterday".

    Donald later reports this:

    19 March, 2009, Donald (in Stuttgart): Jutta told me that Jon came to Stuttgart to see her yesterday
    23 March, 2009, Donald (in Stuttgart): Last Friday, Jutta told me that Jon came/had come to Stuttgart to see her the day before.
    24 March, 2009, Donald (in Moscow): Last Friday, Jutta told me that John came/had come to Stuttgart to see her the day before. [Donald is reporting Jutta's words closely, seeing himself in Stuttgart with Jutta as she spoke the words.]
    24 March, 2009, Donald (in Moscow): Last Friday, Jutta told me that John went/had gone to Stuttgart to see her the day before.[Donald is distancing himself from the conversation with Jutta. He is reporting, from Moscow, the words of Jutta in Stuttgart.

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    #5

    Re: How to report: He said, "She came here yesterday'?

    5jj, I fundamentally disagree with you, for the reasons in my previous post. The changing of the perspective is not faithful reporting. I think, though, that further argument would be counterproductive.

    PS. The real difficulty is it's hard to know where "here" and "there" are in reported speech. Perhaps the best way to report He said, "She came here yesterday." is something like He said that she came/had come to him yesterday/the day before.
    Last edited by abaka; 18-Aug-2012 at 21:04.

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    #6

    Re: How to report: He said, "She came here yesterday'?

    Quote Originally Posted by abaka View Post
    The changing of the perspective is not faithful reporting.
    The only way one can faithfully report something is to quote the actual words. All forms of 'reported speech' are coloured by the views of the reporter.

    Let's take a moderately simple example. I, 5jj, utter the words, "I live in Prague". If you report this as
    5jj said, "I live in Prague"
    you are reporting the words faithfully.

    As soon as you report these as (1) 5jj said that he lived in Prague or (2) 5jj said (that) he lives in Prague, you are adding colour. #1 can suggest that the reporter is stating only his/her belief that 5jj lived in Prague at the moment he (5jj) uttered those words. #2 can suggest that the reporter is stating that 5jj still lives in Prague at the moment of reporting. And, if we read #2 a year after the reporter uttered them, we can only guess whether or not 5jj still lives in Prague.

    So-called 'reported speech' is never faithful reporting.

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