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  1. B45
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    #1

    My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rural ch

    My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rural china are very empty and has almost no population.

    And I say:

    That's exactly what the taxi driver said to me when we were in a small old empty town in China.

    VS

    That was exactly what the taxi driver said to me when we were in a small old empty town in China.

    Are both okay here? Which one is correct because he said what he said to me in the present so I would use the first one.

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    #2

    Re: My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rura

    Either is OK, but the first is what I would choose.

    You need to say "parts are empty and have almost no population."

  2. B45
    Guest
    #3

    Re: My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rura

    My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rural china are very empty and have almost no population.

    Why are both okay? Please explain.

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    #4

    Re: My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rura

    They are both OK because native speakers might use either version.

  3. B45
    Guest
    #5

    Re: My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rura

    I understand that, but can you provide a more technical explanation, because it'd be easier for learners to understand why and how it is the way it is.

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: My friend and I are having a conversation and he tells me that some parts of rura

    Because that is what he said, and that was what he said. In fact, it will always be what he said. The only situation in which it would not be what he said is if he hadn't said it.
    The fact that it happened in the past is indicated by the word 'said' which appears in all versions.

    You've heard of back-formation in reported speech.

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