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    #1

    Past tense or present tense

    Tom called me yesterday and said his wife wanted to by a car.

    Then I want to send an email to my friend who is a car agent. I will say:

    1. My friend called me yesterday. He said his wife wanted to by a car.

    2. My friend called me yesterday. He said his wife wants to buy a car.


    Are the above sentences both correct.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Past tense or present tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Winwin2011 View Post
    Tom called me yesterday and said his wife wanted to buy a car.

    Then I want to send an email to my friend who is a car agent. I will say:

    1. My friend called me yesterday. He said his wife wanted to buy a car.

    2. My friend called me yesterday. He said his wife wants to buy a car.


    Are the above sentences both correct.
    They are now.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Past tense or present tense

    Three things.

    1. I doubt that your friend used past tense when he said his wife wants to buy a car, so why should you do so?

    2. We call them car salesmen, not car agents. (AmE)

    3. Say:

    Are the sentences correct?

  3. Roman55's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Past tense or present tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    1. I doubt that your friend used past tense when he said his wife wants to buy a car, so why should you do so?
    Because it's quite common in reported speech.
    I am not a teacher

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Past tense or present tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    Because it's quite common in reported speech.
    True.

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Past tense or present tense

    The following explanation might be helpful to the OP.

    '3. Optional Backshifting

    When the verb of speech introducing the indirect speech is in a past tense (simple, progressive or perfect), and the situation reported is still true at the moment of speaking, we can, but do not have to, backshift.'── quoted from http://usingenglish.com/articles/ind...ed-speech.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    2. We call them car salesmen, not car agents. (AmE)
    When I used 'salesman', SoothingDave told me that it was a 'car dealer' in AmE in this post http://usingenglish.com/forum/thread...=1#post1176064
    Are they called differently in the US?
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: Past tense or present tense

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post

    When I used 'salesman', SoothingDave told me that it was a 'car dealer' in AmE in this post http://usingenglish.com/forum/thread...=1#post1176064
    Are they called differently in the US?
    The place where you go to buy a car is a car dealer, not a car shop. The person who handles the sale is a car salesman.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 08-Jan-2016 at 09:01. Reason: Pruning quote.
    I am not a teacher.

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