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reported speech with a future event Options
AlyonaSunlight
Posted: Monday, April 5, 2021 8:00:49 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/1/2014
Posts: 495
Neurons: 4,695
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Hello, everyone!

I have some questions concerning reported speech (when an action / event is still in the future).


Let's take this sentence as an example:

Julie: "I'm going to Rome tomorrow (tomorrow being 06/04)".



1. If it is still 05/04 and "tomorrow" is still tomorrow, do I HAVE to save the same tense to avoid ambiguity? e.g. - She said she is going to Rome tomorrow.

As far as I know, if something is still true the tense change is OPTIONAl but it's never a mistake to change the tense. (e.g. He said he loves / loved me - I can say LOVED even if he still loves me).

If there's no such a strict rule that I HAVE to save the original tense, and I change it to "was going to", won't it confuse other people? Will they understand that I'm talking about 06/04 and not some other "tomorrow/the next day" in the past?

I'm confused :(


2. If I want to avoid ambiguity and say "tomorrow", do I have to change the tense as well? Can I say: Julie said (that) she was going to Rome tomorrow.
Or should I change both - the tense and the time reference - at the same time?


Thank you in advance.
Wilmar (USA) 1M
Posted: Monday, April 5, 2021 8:30:56 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/4/2015
Posts: 5,886
Neurons: 1,302,153
Location: Vinton, Iowa, United States
Direct speech requires word-for-word reporting of what the person said. If you are more concerned about "ambiguity" than accuracy, then you should consider using indirect speech, so that you can alter the wording to suit your needs.
Direct speech: "I'm going to France tomorrow."
Indirect speech: Mary said she's going to France on Tuesday. Or, Mary told us she's going to France on Tuesday.
Or, you can add clarification to the quotation but NOT as if Mary used those words.

Farlex Grammar lesson on reported speech. https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Reported-Speech-Indirect-Speech.htm

Farlex Grammar lesson on using square brackets to add clarifying information to reported speech: "... However, rather than indicating information that is supplemental or incidental, brackets are usually used within quoted speech to indicate that a writer has added material to the quotation to provide clarifying or explanatory information. " https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Brackets.htm
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, April 5, 2021 9:02:42 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 7,222
Neurons: 1,354,886
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
AlyonaSunlight wrote:
1. If it is still 05/04 and "tomorrow" is still tomorrow, do I HAVE to save the same tense to avoid ambiguity? e.g. - She said she is going to Rome tomorrow.

If, as far as you know, she still intends to go to Rome tomorrow, you should use "is" to make that clear. But in the following example, "was" is correct:

She said she was going to Rome tomorrow, but then she changed her mind.
sureshot
Posted: Monday, April 5, 2021 11:10:39 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/16/2015
Posts: 2,847
Neurons: 462,014
Audiendus wrote:
AlyonaSunlight wrote:
1. If it is still 05/04 and "tomorrow" is still tomorrow, do I HAVE to save the same tense to avoid ambiguity? e.g. - She said she is going to Rome tomorrow.

If, as far as you know, she still intends to go to Rome tomorrow, you should use "is" to make that clear. But in the following example, "was" is correct:

She said she was going to Rome tomorrow, but then she changed her mind.

_________________

I would prefer to use "the next day" for "tomorrow" in the sentence above.
Audiendus
Posted: Monday, April 5, 2021 11:45:56 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 7,222
Neurons: 1,354,886
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
sureshot wrote:
I would prefer to use "the next day" for "tomorrow" in the sentence above.


I would use "tomorrow" if she said it today.
AlyonaSunlight
Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2021 5:06:52 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/1/2014
Posts: 495
Neurons: 4,695
Location: Moscow, Moscow, Russia
Thank you, Audiendus, sureshot and Wilmar (USA) 1M!
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