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a question about "the objective clause"

the grammer book told me if the main clause with the simple past tense, the subordinate clause should show in past.
but i got one sentence form the middle school English book as following
"some readers said that they are goning to eat more vegetables"
it seems contrary to the rules of grammer.
so, ....."HELP"

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    As I am sure you know this is reported speech. The rules of grammar say if we use past simple for the reporting verb the tense of the reporting clause is also in a past tense (past simple/ past continuous/ past perfect) This is called backshift. But it is quite common not to use backshift if
    a) The reported sentence deals with a fact or general truth. 'She said that the moon causes the tides.'

    b) If the speaker reports something immediately or soon after it is said. 'What did the conductor say?' 'He said the next stop is Highgate.'

    c) If 'will' is the modal in the reported phrase and expresses future time and the situation is still true at the time of reporting. 'Mr Jones said that there will be an eclipse of the moon next month.'
    The same may also happen with 'to be going to' to express the future.

    Also using 'were/was going to' can give the sentence an ambiguous meaning. Was/were going to is used to refer to actions which were planned in the past but have changed. Even in reported speech there is still the possibility of giving this sense. 'Some readers said they were going to eat more vegetables' (but maybe they've changed their minds!) So to avoid confusion it would be better to remain with the original tense of the phrase being reported. 'Some readers said they are going to eat more vegetables.' (They had the intention to do this when they expressed it and they still have this intention.)

    native speakers know it better))

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