Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Singapore
      • Current Location:
      • Singapore
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    601

    he became/had become very sick

    I was trying a practice on transformation (changing direct to indirect speech). My answer was wrong but I don't understand why.

    Question: "When Tobby was six months old, he became very sick," said Mrs Jill.

    My answer: Mrs Jill said that when Tobby was six months ago, he had become very sick.
    (Correct answer: Mrs Jill said that when Tobby was six months ago, he became very sick.)

    I was taught that when changing direct to indirect speech, the verb usually takes 'one-step back' when the speech verb is in past tense. However, this does not apply if the statement is a universal fact.

    I don't understand why in this question, the 'became' does not need to be changed to past perfect.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    5,852

    Re: he became/had become very sick

    It depends on what Mrs Jill intended to say next. If she intended to say something about the past, then "had become" is correct. If not, "became" is right. We can answer with certainty if we know the exact question you had to answer.

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    61,377

    Re: he became/had become very sick

    I assume that in both your answer and the correct answer, you meant to type "six years old", not "six years ago". Also, Tobby is not a recognised English name. Are you sure it didn't say Toby?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #4
    Oceanlike is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Singapore
      • Current Location:
      • Singapore
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    601

    Re: he became/had become very sick

    Yes, it was a typo error. Yes, it should be Toby.

    Thank you.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •