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You were not coming/you didn't come Options
Tara2
Posted: Monday, December 04, 2017 2:50:01 PM

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Why in the following sentence 'past continues' is used? can we use 'past tense'?
"I waited ages for you-you could have said that you weren't coming !"
IMcRout
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 4:41:13 AM

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Joined: 5/27/2011
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Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
The past continuous is used in this example of reported speech, because it is the equivalent of the direct statement, 'I'm not coming' with its future meaning. The simple present does not have this future meaning and would not be understood as natural English.

The person might have said, 'I won't come', but then your sentence would have to be, "I waited ages for you - you could have said that you wouldn't come!"

Using the simple past would not make any sense.

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
thar
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 5:35:35 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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You need to think of the tense of the action relative to the time it was said.


'You didn't come' is a statement about the past.
He doesn't need to tell you he didn't come. You know he didn't come. You were the one left waiting!


Before the meeting time, talking about the future, he should have said "I am not coming". Which as IMc explains, in reported as you should have said you weren't coming.
Tara2
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 5:55:31 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 112
Neurons: 575
IMcRout wrote:
The past continuous is used in this example of reported speech, because it is the equivalent of the direct statement, 'I'm not coming' with its future meaning. The simple present does not have this future meaning and would not be understood as natural English.

The person might have said, 'I won't come', but then your sentence would have to be, "I waited ages for you - you could have said that you wouldn't come!"

Using the simple past would not make any sense.

Many thanks for your help.
Tara2
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 5:58:04 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 11/8/2017
Posts: 112
Neurons: 575
thar wrote:
You need to think of the tense of the action relative to the time it was said.


'You didn't come' is a statement about the past.
He doesn't need to tell you he didn't come. You know he didn't come. You were the one left waiting!


Before the meeting time, talking about the future, he should have said "I am not coming". Which as IMc explains, in reported as you should have said you weren't coming.

Many Thanks for your help.
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