Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Apr 2020
    • Posts: 5
    #1

    Complex sentences in reported speech without back-shift

    Hello. Could anyone explain to me why, according to the key provided by my teacher, sentences below should be rendered in reported speech with no back-shift of certain verbs:

    1. "When I first came here," Susan said, "I had a hard time with the language, but now that I've been here for five years, I find I can get on very well"

    Susan explained that she had had a hard time with the language when she first went there, but since she had been there for fiver years she found that she could get on very well.


    I can't figure out why past simple is maintained there. I would change it into: " when she first had gone there". Why am I wrong?

    2. "I couldn't believe my ears when I heard they'd split up," she said to me. "Could you phone Jane to see if it's really true?"

    She told me that she couldn't believe her ears when she heard that they had split up, and asked me if I could phone Jane to see if it was really true.

    Why not: "when she had heard"?

    3. "Shall I pass on the news," I asked him, "or would you prefer I didn't until you've had a chance to see them?"

    I asked him if I should pass on the news or if he would prefer I didn't until he had had a chance to see them.

    Again, why does "didn't" remain unchanged?


    Does it have something to do with words "when" and "until"?

    I will be glad for your help.

    All examples come from "CPE Use of English. Examination Practice" by Virginia Evans, Express Publishing 1998, p. 84, 85.
    Last edited by Barto017; 29-Apr-2020 at 09:02. Reason: misspelling

  2. probus's Avatar
    Moderator
    Retired English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 5,143
    #2

    Re: Complex sentences in reported speech without back-shift

    Test response only

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 13,173
    #3

    Re: Complex sentences in reported speech without back-shift

    Can't you ask your teacher this? If we answer, we might well give you contradictory advice.

    One point, though: You should know that backshifting in reported speech is not really about there being a 'correct' way. I'd say that it's generally advisable to minimise it as much as possible. You don't have to backshift everything. As a general rule, if backshifting does not serve to clarify the sequence of events in any useful way, don't bother.

    Sentence 3 is very different from the first two sentences, by the way. What do you want to change it to—hadn't? Does that really sound right to you?

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
    VIP Member
    Interested in Language
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 21,993
    #4

    Re: Complex sentences in reported speech without back-shift

    Two things. One, "When she first went there" is perfectly fine. Two, why are you using the word "translate"?
    Not a professional teacher

Posting Permissions

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