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    #1

    Changing tenses in Reported Speech

    Greeting,

    I have a question about whether changing or not the tenses in some cases and would be very appreciated for any help. Here it is, I know that the general "rules" for reporting indirectly is that we need to shift backward one tense everytime we report. I am also aware that there are exceptions like when we use present reporting verbs or the original statement is still true.

    So here is my question: Today John told me: "Kim arrived yesterday." Later, on this same day, I will report this to my other friend, Lee. According to the rules, I should say something like this: John told me that Kim had arrived the day before. If John told this to me long time ago then I have no argument about that, but the problem is that John really told me today and Kim did actually come yesterday, which mean the times of the original statement are true to the actual time. It is so close to the point I report to Lee that I find it odd to switch to past perfect.

    Therefore, is it OK for me to retain the past simple and to say:
    John told me that Kim arrived yesterday? Or should I say:
    John tells me that Kim arrived yesterday? Or are there any other options?

    Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks in advance!

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Changing tenses in Reported Speech

    "John told me that Kim arrived yesterday" works well for me.

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    #3

    Re: Changing tenses in Reported Speech

    So, you mean that in these cases we should use the direct report instead? OK I will take that. But if I still want to make an indirect one, would you kindly tell me the correct sentence I should have?

    Thanks!

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Changing tenses in Reported Speech

    What I mean is that if the sequence of past events is clear without the past perfect, the past perfect is not needed. The adverb "yesterday" does that.

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