Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Yourjones
    Guest
    #1

    He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    Hello,

    From what my teacher has ever taught me, I know I should say "He said he would go abroad on Wednesday." But I just am wondering if I could say "He said he will go abroad on Wednesday" if at the time I am saying that, it is still Tuesday.

    Thanks a lot.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 608
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    The short answer is yes. In fact, both forms are correct but have different meanings, or emphasis -it doesn't really matter if it's Tuesday or Wednesday or Sunday.

  2. Yourjones
    Guest
    #3
    Hello thanks a lot for your answer! Can I know what different meanings there are between "will" and "would"?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 608
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    I would love to tell you the difference but I won't here - it would take too much time.

    I will say that, to me, the first sentence sounds like it means he didn't actually go abroad last Wednesday, even though he said it was his intention. The second sounds like he has an intention of going abroad next Wednesday. Then it's a question of Wednesdays. But that's just one way of interpreting it.

    If the real Wednesday is in the future, then why is it preferable to change the modal from will to would? Well, maybe if his intention to go abroad ceased to be. Otherwise, it's likely we would say 'He said he was going abroad on Wednesday.

    With modal verbs, if there's a change of modality, (like exchanging will/would), the result is a difference in meaning often to do with people's attitudes and intentions. Look at the uses of will/would in the following exchange.

    A: Will you wash up? [request to do]
    B: Yes, I'll wash up. [intention to do]
    (20 minutes later...)
    A: You said you'd wash up! [failure of intention = intention is invalid = past tense.]
    B: Sorry, I'll do it, I'll do it. [intention to do]

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #5

    Re: He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    It is likely that the speaker's original statement "I will go abroad on Wednesday". When one reports the speech, it is normal to backshift the tense of the verb. That would be "He said he would go abroad on Wednesday". But backshifting is not required and is not always preferred. If the reporter has good reason to believe that the statement is still true, it is perfectly normal to use the original verb in the report. In this case, you could use either verb with no difference in meaning. In both cases, it is the intention of the speaker to go abroad on Wednesday.

  4. Yourjones
    Guest
    #6
    Thank you so much for sparing so much time and effort explaining! I have never known such subtle difference between "will" and "would" when doing the reportive speech. So I will use "will" for the cases where it is yet to take place, and "would" in the cases where it has happened or has failed to happen as intended. Thanks.

  5. Yourjones
    Guest
    #7
    Thank you so much for explaining! Is this grammatical problem tested on English native speaking students? I assume it weren't now that it is so subtle.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #8

    Re: He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    I suspect most teachers of ESL stick religiously to the backshifting rule, but that is overdoing it, in my view. In either case, trying to create a difference in meaning between the two is inappropriate. It is a matter of style, not meaning.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 608
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #9

    Re: He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    I don't see a rule, just a choice. The problem is often there is perceived to be a (grammatical) rule by students and teachers alike. My assertion is that what determines this choice comes from the speaker. A difference in style or meaning? Perhaps too academic to discuss here. I'm not trying to create a difference, just explain it.

  7. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #10

    Re: He said he will go abroad on Wednesday.

    Yes, I agree that there is no real rule, but try convincing some ESL teachers. How can there be a difference in meaning unless the speaker/writer believes it and intends it.

Similar Threads

  1. [Grammar] next wednesday+present
    By Will17 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Mar-2011, 16:34
  2. A Wednesday
    By musicgold in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 27-Jul-2010, 18:25
  3. living abroad \ livinin in abroad
    By jayan12 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 09-Jan-2010, 12:39
  4. every other wednesday
    By carla guaraldi in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Sep-2008, 02:46
  5. Wednesday 9/8 c
    By mikephd in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-Oct-2006, 16:53

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •