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    #1

    Indirect speech

    He said , “I hardly ever go out these days.”He said (that) he hardly ever went out those days.
    Should "those" be "these" in an "indirect speech" version? Or do you consider this as correct?

  1. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Indirect speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Roozbeh View Post
    He said, [no space before the comma] “I hardly ever go out these days.” [space after the quote] He said (that) he hardly ever went out these days.
    Should "those" be "these" in an "indirect speech" version? Or do you consider this as correct?
    Interesting question!

    These days
    is a common idiom. We use those days literally, not idiomatically.

    These days refers to the present. Those days refers to the past: Those days are long gone.

    The second (indirect) version depends on context:

    - If he said it recently and it applies to the present, then these days is correct.

    - If the time it refers to is in the past, then those days cannot replace the idiom these days. (Although it would be convenient!) You could say "in​ those days" or "back then."
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 26-Apr-2016 at 15:31.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #3

    Re: Indirect speech

    "He said that he hardly ever goes out these days."
    “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

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    #4

    Re: Indirect speech

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    "He said that he hardly ever goes out these days."
    And Bhaisahab makes a good point. If you change "went" to "goes," then "these days" is exactly right.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #5

    Re: Indirect speech

    So you believe that "those" in my original is correct.

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    #6

    Re: Indirect speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Roozbeh View Post
    So you believe that "those" in my original is correct.
    No. "These days" is better.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #7

    Re: Indirect speech

    But you preferred "those days" in an indirect version, didn't you?

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    #8

    Re: Indirect speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Roozbeh View Post
    So you believe that "those" in my original is correct.
    No. These days is an idiom. It doesn't change to those days​ even when used in a past context.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: Indirect speech

    http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/reported.htm

    Look at the table, illustrating the difference between "these" and "those".

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    #10

    Re: Indirect speech

    Quote Originally Posted by Roozbeh View Post
    http://www.englisch-hilfen.de/en/grammar/reported.htm

    Look at the table, illustrating the difference between "these" and "those".
    The table is wrong about these days vs. those days.
    I am not a teacher.

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