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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Asked + past tense?

    Hi, I'm really confused with this. I hope you can help with my question.

    If you are going to report something someone asked you, do you always use the past tense because of the "asked" word?

    Eg. He asked me if I know you.
    OR
    He asked me if I knew you.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 27-Feb-2014 at 10:00. Reason: Adding full stops

  2. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Asked + past tense?

    No. You change the main verb "ask" because that did occur in the past (that's "reported speech"). The second verb can be in nearly any other tense, depending on what you need to say.

    PS: Welcome to the forum .
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Asked + past tense?

    Welcome to the forums.

    I have added full stops to your sentences. Please remember to punctuate correctly in future.

    In reported speech, backshifting is always correct. 'He asked me if I knew you.'

    You clearly know the person you are talking to, so 'He asked me if I know you' is also correct.

    When in doubt, backshift, but as Charlie says, expect to see examples using other tenses.

  3. charliedeut's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Asked + past tense?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Olease remember to punctuate correctly in future.
    Rover, you need to check your typing abilities, methinks (or else yoour spellchecker's gone bananas) !
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: Asked + past tense?

    My word, you are quick on the draw! I edited it whilst you were writing that. (Check your 'yoour'.)

    I don't use a spellchecker: it would find no mistakes in a sentence like

    'Yew no yore knot aloud two reed allowed inn hear.'

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