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    #1

    He is and he was

    "He said he was an engineer"

    I'd say it's right but it sounds like he's not an engineer.

    Could I say "He said he is an engineer" or "He says he is an engineer"

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: He is and he was

    Yes you could. The tense backshift is optional there.

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    #3

    Re: He is and he was

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes you could. The tense backshift is optional there.
    Which one could I say? "He says he is going" or "He said he is going"

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: He is and he was

    In reported speech,"said" would more common, unless the speech was very recent.

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: He is and he was

    'He just said to me over the phone that he is going dancing tonight.'
    The phone call might be just a few seconds ago, very recent. Could 'said' still be used?

    Not a teacher.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: He is and he was

    Yes. But "says" could also be used.

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    #7

    Re: He is and he was

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Yes. But "says" could also be used.
    "The website says dinasours exist"
    "The book says Science is important"

    Could I use "says" for a speech that has been written and still able to be read?

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    #8

    Re: He is and he was

    Yes, even entire stories(narratives) can be written in the present tense.
    The present tense gives the sense of reality and immediacy.

    not a teacher
    Last edited by tedmc; 22-Oct-2014 at 05:06.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: He is and he was

    Quote Originally Posted by Checkmate View Post
    "The website says dinasours exist"
    "The book says Science is important"
    Whenever you read the website/the book, it always says so, such is a repeated action in the present, so the simple present can be used.

    Not a teacher.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: He is and he was

    Absolutely. If something said/written in the past is still true, the present tense can be used. In both of your sentnces, the past tense could also be used.

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