The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

The teacher said that the world is/was round. Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 2:55:05 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,174
Neurons: 8,959
The teacher said, "The world is round."

In reported speech, which is the usual version?

The teacher said that the world is round.
The teacher said that the world was round.

Thanks.
NKM
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:46:20 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,745
Neurons: 158,218
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
I think the tenses need to match: "… said the world was round."

Hope123
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 4:27:54 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/23/2015
Posts: 6,388
Neurons: 37,857
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
There are two theories about the sequence of tenses in reported speech and the debate has been going on for ages.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_of_tenses






Ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have. -James Baldwin, writer
georgieporgie
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 5:08:10 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 8/7/2017
Posts: 6
Neurons: 30
I think the teacher was stating something of a fundamental or defining nature, which transcends time. "Is" gets my vote.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 5:29:50 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 602
Neurons: 121,029
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Is.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 6:01:31 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/30/2016
Posts: 622
Neurons: 4,038
Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
The teacher is also wrong the Earth is an oblate spheroid.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
hedy mmm
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 6:14:33 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/29/2014
Posts: 877
Neurons: 390,855
Location: Borough of Bronx, New York, United States
Koh Elaine wrote:
The teacher said, "The world is round."

In reported speech, which is the usual version?

The teacher said that the world is round.
The teacher said that the world was round.


The teacher said, "The world is round." Is a quote of what the teacher said.

The teacher said that the world was round. Is CORRECT because it's in reported speech. The idea of same tenses only applies to this complete sentence, not one with a quote....

"God graced us with today....don't waste it." hedy
sureshot
Posted: Saturday, August 12, 2017 6:29:35 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 1,802
Neurons: 336,090
Koh Elaine wrote:
The teacher said, "The world is round."

In reported speech, which is the usual version?

The teacher said that the world is round.
The teacher said that the world was round.

Thanks.

______________________

The rule is that the tense of the reported verb does not change when the reported speech pertains to habitual or universal truth,proverbs, principles and scientific laws. Here are a few examples:

My mother said, "Honesty is the best policy."
My mother said that honesty is the best policy.

My professor said, "Work is worship."
My professor said that work is worship.

He said, "We are mortal."
He said that we are mortal.

The little boy said, "The sun rises in the east."
The little boy said that the sun rises in the east.

Changing the present tense to past tense is applicable if the statement is untrue or out of date. Therefore, there is only one correct option and that is: The teacher said that the world is round.

It is a different matter that strictly speaking the earth is an oblate spheroid.



TMe
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 11:26:25 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 1/12/2017
Posts: 407
Neurons: 2,603
The teacher said that the world is round. Yes Correct coz it is still so.

At no point of point in the past it was so and is not now.

I am a layman.
tunaafi
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 3:20:23 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/3/2014
Posts: 4,151
Neurons: 52,220
Location: Karlín, Praha, Czech Republic
sureshot wrote:
The rule is that the tense of the reported verb does not change when the reported speech pertains to habitual or universal truth,proverbs, principles and scientific laws.


The practice in British English is that we do not usually backshift when reporting habitual or universal truths, etc. However, backshifting is not incorre
ct.
NKM
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 7:22:09 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 3,745
Neurons: 158,218
Location: Corinth, New York, United States
"Copernicus claimed that the Earth revolved around the Sun."

We know now that it does, but at the time he said it ….

Koh Elaine
Posted: Sunday, August 13, 2017 11:57:53 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/4/2012
Posts: 2,174
Neurons: 8,959
Thanks to all of you.
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.