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Hi there,

Hi I am Joel from the Philippines, I am really confused about the usage of "say" when it is used in reported speech....Why do we say in reported speech: She says "What time will you be home?" rather than using the past tense "said" in She said "What time will you be home?"? What is the difference between the two? and what verb tense should be prefferred? Thank you very much and God bless.
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She says "What time will you be home?"
She said "What time will you be home?"

Neither of those are reported speech. They are both direct speech, the first spoken in the present and the second spoken in the past. Reported speech does not have quotation marks, but looks like this:

She asked what time I would be home.

Direct: She said "The postman is late again."
Reported: She said that the postman was late again.
This is a tricky one and I personally think there's no right or wrong, at least in most cases. It depends on the time frame the speaker has in mind most of the time.

However, I have some preferences. In everyday conversation, if I use the past tense said, I wouldn't quote the speech, instead I would change the speech tense to the past tense. For example,

Mary: What time will you be home?

Kate: I'll be home before dinner.

Jerry, guess what the first thing my mom asked when I told her I was going out with you? She asked what time I would be home. (I dont think 'said' fits well, 'ask' is better)

If I want to quote, either tense is OK with me though I'd prefer the present

I'm not a native. You might want to confirm with the natives
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Hi Sir,

Thank you so much for your taking time to help me and may God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, bless you greatly....

Sir, what is the proper verb to be use here? Why is it that even if it did happen in the past (the conversation, I mean) I can read a lot of them using the present tense "say" Like: Tom says that.....yesterday. Why says not said?
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Tom says that.....yesterday. Why says not said?
Does yesterday refer to Tom's speaking or the event of which he speaks? Your example is unclear.

Regardless, in conversation, we often uses 'Tom says' (though he actually said it yesterday) when the fact stated by Tom is still true today:

Tom says that his apartment is expensive.

We also use 'Tom says' as a sort of narrative technique, to bring the action into more immediacy for the listener:

Tom says you should clean your room!
Hi I am Azalea from America and and I'm 10 and I'm her to tell you the answer to your question. when she SAYS what time will you be home is that she just said that and when she SAID what time will you be home it mean she said that like earlier

Emotion: phoneEmotion: geeked
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AnonymousHi I am Azalea from America and and I'm 10 and I'm her to tell you the answer to your question. when she SAYS what time will you be home is that she just said that and when she SAID what time will you be home it mean she said that like earlier
Thank you, Azalea, for your helpful answer. Emotion: smile

I was helping a granddaughter with her present and past tense exercises this evening. The sentence in question: Some of you say/said that you would finish this past weekend.

Is it say or said? I told her said, as the verb phrase following is past tense "would finish." However, it seems rather tricky, and I want to tell her correctly.

file banana 308 The sentence in question: Some of you say/said that you would finish this past weekend.Is it say or said? I told her said, as the verb phrase following is past tense "would finish." However, it seems rather tricky, and I want to tell her correctly.

I'd use "said" there. The original conversation referred to took place at some time in the past when the dates we now view as "last weekend" were still in the future.

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