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  1. Webmaster,
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 3,782

    Tense changes in indirect speech

    Do we always need to backshift the verb in reported speech? Some argues that where the reporting verb is in the past tense, then we should move the other verbs back a tense automatically....

    I'm not a teacher, so please consider any advice I give in that context.

  2. Junior Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • French
      • Home Country:
      • France
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2008
    • Posts: 80

    Re: Tense changes in indirect speech

    i'm not a teacher. if the original statement is still true at the time you report, you can shift the tense or not. for example: Bill says:"the march starts on 2 June". if you tell your friend before 2 June, you could say:" Bill said the march starts on 2 June", because the statement is still true. otherwise, you need to shift the tense: "Bill said the march started on 2 June"

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