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Question

Hi, regarding synthesis and transformation, where the direct speech is changed into reported speech, do we always use past perfect tense in the reported speech?

Seem like all the questions done so far, all required to change to past perfect.  From what i know, we have to make sure that the direct speech event has already occurred before changing to past perfect tense. Correct me if I am wrong. Anyone has any examples of the direct speech and reported speech, where past perfect tense not use?

Thank you.

Answer

In reported speech, the tense often shifts back one step from the tense used in direct speech. However, it is not a strict rule that you must always use the past perfect tense when changing from direct to reported speech. The choice of tense depends on the context and the relationship between the events being reported.

Here’s a general guide:

  1. Present Simple in Direct Speech → Past Simple in Reported Speech:

    • Direct: She said, “I love chocolate.”
    • Reported: She said that she loved chocolate.
  2. Present Continuous in Direct Speech → Past Continuous in Reported Speech:

    • Direct: “I am studying for my exams,” he said.
    • Reported: He said that he was studying for his exams.
  3. Present Perfect in Direct Speech → Past Perfect in Reported Speech:

    • Direct: “I have visited Paris before,” she said.
    • Reported: She said that she had visited Paris before.
  4. Past Simple in Direct Speech → Past Perfect in Reported Speech:

    • Direct: “I went to the store yesterday,” he said.
    • Reported: He said that he had gone to the store the day before.
  5. Past Continuous in Direct Speech → Past Perfect Continuous in Reported Speech:

    • Direct: “We were watching a movie,” they said.
    • Reported: They said that they had been watching a movie.

However, in some cases, especially when reporting general truths or when the reporting verb is in the present, you might not need to use past perfect:

  • Direct: “The sun rises in the east,” she said.
  • Reported: She said that the sun rises in the east.

It’s important to consider the context and the relationship of the events when choosing the tense in reported speech. While the past perfect is common, it’s not a strict rule that it must always be used.

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