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    #1

    he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    I attempted a question on Synthesis and Transformation (Direct to Reported Speech), and I was stumped!


    Cindy said, "The sun was shining when I left."
    Cindy said that the sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT.


    I changed 'was' to 'had been'; how about 'left'?
    Do I need to change the tense 'left' in the direct speech to 'had left' in the reported speech? It sounds weird to me. I'm unsure if I should change the tense of 'left'.
    (I thought that all tenses have to be changed when transforming a direct speech (with a reporting verb in past tense) into a reported speech)

    Thank you for teaching me

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    Despite what some course books and teachers suggest, it is not necessary to backshift pass tenses when the meaning is clear. I'd write "Cindy said that the sun was shining when she left".

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    #3

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    I agree with you, Piscean! Sometimes, I feel that questions are not well-crafted and lead to awkward answers or ambiguities. At times, I find that even school teachers have conflicting answers Arrgghhh English!

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    #4

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    You don't need to use the past perfect, but you can.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    Do you mean both 'had been' and 'had left'?

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    #6

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Do you mean both 'had been' and 'had left'?
    I would very much doubt it. 'Had left' is not in discussion, and would be wrong.

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    #7

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    1. Cindy said that she had left not long ago.
    2. Cindy said that the sun had been shining when she left.

    Why can 'had left' be used in 1 but not in 2?
    I think 'had left' is also in discussion because the OP asked about it below.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanlike View Post
    Do I need to change the tense 'left' in the direct speech to 'had left' in the reported speech?

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    The shining of the sun began before her leaving.

  6. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    1. Cindy said that the sun was shining when she left.
    2. Cindy said that the sun would be sinking when she left.
    The contexts have made it clear that 'she left' happened before 'Cindy said' in 1 and after it in 2.
    Am I right or wrong?

  7. Piscean's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: he sun HAD BEEN shining when she LEFT

    Yes, but I don't see what this has to do with the original question.

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