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  1. Newbie
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      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Jan 2014
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    backshift question

    Hello, first of all, I'm so sorry to confuse you by my title. But I don't know how to edit it :(
    Anyway, I have a question about tense.

    If you still love him then is it right to say "I didn't know you loved him" OR "I didn't know you love him" ?

    In my opinion, I didn't know you loved him is correct one because of sequence of tenses. But I'm not sure. Or can I use both in speaking?

    Please help me!
    Last edited by gl285; 10-Jan-2014 at 15:57.

  2. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 1,099
    #2

    Re: backshift question

    Hello.

    I guess both are correct (I mean they are acceptable). I'd use "you love him". I'm not a teacher nor a native speaker.
    I'm sure in my answer.
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

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

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #3

    Re: backshift question

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris Tatarenko View Post
    I guess both are correct (I mean they are acceptable).
    You are correct. Please don't use the words 'I guess' in your responses. Many members will assume that you are guessing, and that's not what they want.
    Quote Originally Posted by gl285 View Post
    In my opinion, I didn't know you loved him is correct one because of sequence of tenses.
    The 'sequence of tenses' is far less rigid in English than in some languages. When we report words that have been said, beginning with a reporting verb in a past tense, backshifting is almost always correct. However if the situation described in the reported words is still true at the time of reporting, then backshifting is not obligatory.
    Last edited by 5jj; 10-Jan-2014 at 23:28. Reason: typo

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