Anna
Indirect (reported speech). Did I understand it right? She said, "I am working now". She said that she was working then. She said, "I was working then". She said that she had been working then. Mark said, "I have a car". Mark said that he had a car. Mark said, "I've never lived in this house". Mark said that he had never lived in that house. My sister said, "I will be a doctor when I grow up". My sister said that she would be a doctor when she grew up. I have doubts about the last sentence. Do I have to use the past tense for "grow up"?
Oct 9, 2019 9:05 AM
Answers · 6
Your answers are correct. The general rule is that the verbs are backshifted. So, backshifting everything gives a correct version of indirect speech. However, there is an option of keeping the tense unchanged if the statement is still true. For your last sentence, if your sister has not yet grown up, you can use either "... would be a doctor when she grew up" or "... will be a doctor when she grows up." Here is an excellent, brief explanation: https://www.ef.com/ca/english-resources/english-grammar/tense-changes-when-using-reported-speech/ [excerpt] You do not need to change the tense if the reporting verb is in the present, or if the original statement was about something that is still true, e.g. - He says he has missed the train but he'll catch the next one. - We explained that it is very difficult to find our house.
October 9, 2019
Hi, Anna! For indirect speech, it does matter whether you use the past or present tense to 'report' what was said. If you use the past tense, it means that this action is over (in the future--when you are reporting). If you use the present tense, it means that this action is still ongoing. So, all of these 'reports' are correct grammatically, but for a few, I offer my suggestions to keep the tense consistent: Mark said, "I have a car. --> Mark said (that) he has a car. Mark said, "I have never lived in this house." --> Mark said (that) he has never lived in that house. My sister said, "I will be a doctor when I grow up." --> My sister said (that) she will be a doctor when she grows up.
October 9, 2019
All of them are correct.
October 9, 2019
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Anna
Language Skills
English, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
English, Polish