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    #1

    were leaving/ would leave

    Hello! Can you help me, please? It's about reported speech; look at the following:
    She said, "They are leaving for the USA tomorrow".
    If I had to turn it into reported speech, I'd say: She said they were leaving the day after.
    According to a rule I've found in an English grammar recently, I should say "She said they would leave for the USA the day after".
    That's sounds strange to me! What would you suggest I should say? I've always turned present continuous into past continuous while reporting someone else's words, and I suppose that the form "would leave" is acceptable, but "were leaving" is correct as well!
    Thanks a lot in advance!

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    #2

    Re: were leaving/ would leave

    Either sentence is OK. I'd say the next day rather than the day after.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: were leaving/ would leave

    There's yet another possible tense. You could say "She said they would be leaving the next day."

    This is a rare case where your choice of tense won't affect the meaning. It might be guided by the context though.
    I am not a teacher.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: were leaving/ would leave

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    There's yet another possible tense. You could say "She said they would be leaving the next day."

    This is a rare case where your choice of tense won't affect the meaning. It might be guided by the context though.
    I prefer this one.

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: were leaving/ would leave

    Or "... the following day."


  3. Roman55's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: were leaving/ would leave

    Or, 'tomorrow'. You could be reporting the speech the day it was originally spoken.
    I am not a teacher

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: were leaving/ would leave

    Quote Originally Posted by dewedfrost View Post
    According to a rule I've found in an English grammar recently, I should say "She said they would leave for the USA the day after".
    In real life, we are often not too concerned about the exactness of the tense/aspect we use in reporting speech. We simply want to report the situation, so were leaving, would leave, would be leaving, and were going to leave are all possible, assuming the decision to backshift has been made,

    However in exercises, tests and examinations at school, some markers may penalise learners if they don't use the 'correct ' backshifting. It might therefore be a good idea to backshift as folllows:


    are leaving - were leaving
    will leave - would leave
    will be leaving - would be leaving
    are going to leave - were going to leave

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