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While doing some reported/indirect speech stuff (again!) lots of questions has come to my mind. Here are some of them.

1/ 'I never eat meat', (Bill said/explained) -> turns into -> Bill said/explained (that) he never ate meat. - This is the normal way in which most of us would transform the sentence, isn't it?

BUT!

a) Is there a change of meaning between the direct and indirect form? To my liking, the second one, the transformed one, implies that Bill never ate meat before but nowdays maybe he likes it... My impression is, that after we transform the sentence, it somehow represents THE PAST, not the present or general truth. Thus... point b)

b) Thus, I guess, that it would be wiser to say "Bill said that he never EATS meat" because he probably doesn't eat meat to this day, it's a permanent truth, general one... but I don't know whether I'm right or wrong, that's why I'm asking. Is it possible ? Is it grammatically correct?

I guess it's pretty similar like in the following sentence : "Jack said he loves Mary" and the explanation taken from G. Leech A-Z Grammar says that he probably still loves her, it's like a general truth...

c) Is this sentence "Bill said he never ate meat" translated as : "Bill never eats meat" or "Bill never ate it (in the past!) ?

2/ A very similar problem emerges with 'I'm waiting for Ann' (said Jack). And, again, the normal way of transforming this sentence would be : "Jack said (that) he was waiting for Ann".

a) I'm wondering... Does this sentence imply that Jack was waiting for Ann some day in the past or does it imply that he was waiting for her "in the present" I don't know if you guys know what I mean... The thing is that I'd rather say something like "Jack said he is waiting for Ann" IF, is have to stress it, IF the situation still takes place in the present tense. BUT...

b) But if, for instance, on the next day, Bill, who is a friend of Jack, would report what Jack has told him, he would say "Jack said he was waiting for Ann". Am I right? If yes, why. If no, why?

3/ What's the difference between :

I would like to see it VS I should like to see it.

4/ According to Thomson & Martinet's Practical English Grammar the following sentece would have a different meaning if we change the tense from simple past to past perfect in reported speech :

I'm quoting form T&M :

He said, 'I loved her' must become "He said he had loved her" as otherwise there would be a change of meaning. But - He said, 'Ann arrived on Monday' could be reported "He said Ann arrived (<had> is optional here) on Monday"

This is presented in the point 309 "Past tenses sometimes remain unchanged"

a) I don't understand why there would be a change of meaning in the first sentence. Why do I HAVE to use past perfect? And why in the second one it's optional?

b) When past tenses remain past tenses without changing into past perfect? T&M gives examples but no explanmation :/

c) And, again, could we say "He said he loves her" instead of "He said he loved her" ? Why? Why not?

d) Does "He said he loved her" imply that he, possibly, doesn't love her anymore?

5/ Which ones are correct? And which ones are TOTALLY incorrect?

a) He says he knows her. VS

b) He said he knows her. VS

c) He said he knew her. VS

d) He says he knew her.

I guess that :

a) is ok, such a sentence may be heared when a person reads a letter from somebody outloud.

b) seems fine to me... implies that he knew her, he knows her and will know her...

c) ok? seems to imply that he used to know her but now he doesn't because maybe she's abroad or something...

d) correct? Again, a person reading a letter from somebody could say "Jack says/writes that he knew Jany... (bla bla bla... when they were at school, for instance) ?

6/ 'Who lives next door' ->

a) He asked who lived next door

VS

b) He asked who lives next door

Again, a) sounds to me like, somebody who lived next door doesn't live there anymore... But maybe I'm wrong...I don't know.

When I was younger, I used to have no problems with reported speech, I just adhered to the rules of tense shifts and things seemed to be ok. But nowdays after years of learning and studying English, I'm having lots of doubts...

Help me please :- )

PS. Let me know whether I did some mistakes or not in this post, it's essential to me, not just the reported speech, but other things too.
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Comments  
«"Bill said that he never EATS meat" because he probably doesn't eat meat to this day, it's a permanent truth, general one... but I don't know whether I'm right or wrong, that's why I'm asking. Is it possible ? Is it grammatically correct?»

Yes, it's ok if it pretends to be still actual...

«c)Is this sentence "Bill said he never ate meat" translated as : "Bill never eats meat" or "Bill never ate it (in the past!) ?»

It means that Bill said: «I never eat meat». Now he can happily be great meat-lover.

«The thing is that I'd rather say something like "Jack said he is waiting for Ann" IF, is have to stress it, IF the situation still takes place in the present tense.»

Yes, it's ok.

«But if, for instance, on the next day, Bill, who is a friend of Jack, would report what Jack has told him, he would say "Jack said he was waiting for Ann". Am I right? If yes, why. If no, why?»

He said, he was waiting. Because it's in the past that he was waiting...

«He said, 'I loved her' must become "He said he had loved her" as otherwise there would be a change of meaning. But - He said, 'Ann arrived on Monday' could be reported "He said Ann arrived ( is optional here) on Monday"»

His words were: «I loved her». So, by the moment of speech his love was in the past.

«He said he had loved her» — here Past Perfect indicates that his love preceded the moment of speech. In other words, he had already ceased to love her, when he said it.

«Does "He said he loved her" imply that he, possibly, doesn't love her anymore»

Yes, he even can be dead already Emotion: wink
The only thing is that he said: «I love her», no matter when, maybe two cetnuries ago.

«He says he knows her. VS
He said he knows her. VS
He said he knew her. VS
He says he knew her.»

They are all correct, but the meanings are different.

«a) He asked who lived next door
VS
b) He asked who lives next door»

In a narrative store (a tale) the past simple would be used, becasue it's everything ion the past.

But in real life a) may be used as well.

— Cops've been looking for you...
— How do you know?
— They visited me and asked who lives in your flat...

The question here is still actual in some way.

Also look here (for further info on the Past Perfect)

Again Past Perfect:
http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/AgainPastPerfect/cmmlk/Post.htm

Had died or died:
http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/HadDiedOrDied/cmgdb/Post.htm

«PS2. I will have more questions concerning (THE ???) reported speech»

P.S.: No article.
Wrt 1, both your versions are IMO correct, but see here:
-----------
Indirect speech: reporting present and future tenses

If somebody talked about a situation which has still not changed - that is to say, if the original speaker's present and future are still present and future - a reporter can choose whether to keep the original speaker's tenses or change them. Both structures are common.

Direct: The earth goes round the sun.
Indirect: He proved that the earth goes/went round the sun.

Direct: How old are you?
Indirect: Are you deaf? I asked how old you are/were.

Direct: It will be windy tomorrow.
Indirect: The forecast said it will/would be windy tomorrow.

We do not keep the original speaker's tenses if we do not agree with what he/she said, if we are not certain of its truth, or if we wish to make it clear that the information comes from the original speaker, not from ourselves.

The Greeks thought that the sun went round the earth.
(NOT ... that the sun goes round the earth.)
Did you hear that? She just said she was fourteen!
He announced that the profits were higher than the forecast.


Swan, Practical English Usage, p. 505
---------------

Also, check my postings quoting Otto Jespersen on back-shifting here:
http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/SequenceOfTenses/cllpv/Post.htm
which provides many samples from the literature.

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I would much appreciate if a native speaker of English (like Grammar Geek Emotion: smile where are you ?) said a few words about this stuff...

Besides, I've got two more questions :

What are the differences between :

a) He said he loved me. VS
b) He said he had loved me. VS
c) He said he loves me. VS
d) He... any other possibilities ?

And, how would you say, using reported speech, these sentences :

a) I loved her but I don't love her anymore.
b) I used to love her but now I don't.
c) I loved her and I still love her.
d) I've been loving her all my life.

How can I say in reported speech that I loved "her" but I don't love her anymore ?
I'm not English but I would say that:

a) B doesn't love A anymore. It's a past action which A is telling to another person, (let's say C).

b) B doesn't love A but B told A that he had loved him in the past. It's an action which is previous to that moment (when B talks to A) and now A is telling to someone else.

c) A loves B. This is an "habitual" action in the present, it isn't temporal.

___

a) He said that he had loved her but he didn't love her anymore.

b) He said that he used to love her but now He didn't. (As far as I know "used to" can't be changed into Past Perfect or any other tense so I leave it in past simple, I guess that there must besomething better .. but I don't know ... )

c) He said that he had loved her and he still loved her.

d) He said that the bad been loving her all his life.

I hope someone better than me can help you.

Buena suerte con el inglés.

Good luck with you English. Emotion: smile
«I would much appreciate if a native speaker of English (like Grammar Geek where are you ?) said a few words about this stuff...»

Mr. Swan is a native speaker... By the way, you are recommended to buy his book, or to download it.

«d) I've been loving her all my life.»
It seems, that «I have loved her all my life» is much better. Anyway, it's a strange sentence: to have loved somebody since one's birth.

«A loves B. This is an "habitual" action in the present, it isn't temporal.»

No. It's not a habitual action. And it's temporal, of course: you may stop loving her at any time...
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Hi - Here I am. I've been busy at work and watching my daughter play softball and going to choir practice and mourning the Pistons' performance and... anyway, here I am.

He said he loved me: This could be either that he does still love me or that he once loved me. Only the circumstances and context would tell you which he means. You get back from a date with your boyfriend, your best friend said "How was it?" and you say "Wonderful! He finally said that he loved me!" Obviously, still going on. But you could also have replied "He says he loves me!" Either would be understood.

I think it was Marius who quoted Swan as saying you put it in the past when you don't agree with it. I'm not sure I agree with Mr. Swan. Take the example above - let's say yesterday you saw your boyfriend kissing someone else. Now when your friend asks about how your date went you say "He said he loves me! As if! If he loves ME, he wouldn't have been with Mary Ellen yesterday!"

In short, you make it ambiguous if you put reported speech in the past, but that's not a terrible thing if there are enough other clues from context about what you mean. (And of course, if you include clues like he once loved me then you let your reader know without doubt.)

The post got very long. Is there another aspect to it that I didn't answer?
Yes, Forum_mail, make shorter postsEmotion: smile

And get Otto Jespersen's grammar, if you can (difficult, out of print, but worthwhile; perhaps you can copy vol. IV in a university library). Vol. IV is all about verbs.
Many thanks to all of you, especially to GG for his very clear explanation!

Grammar Geek, could you do me a favour? I'd much appreciate if you could take a look at these questions and answer (at least) some of them, at you convenience... :

2/ A very similar problem emerges with 'I'm waiting for Ann' (said Jack). And, again, the normal way of transforming this sentence would be : "Jack said (that) he was waiting for Ann".

a) I'm wondering... Does this sentence imply that Jack was waiting for Ann some day in the past or does it imply that he was waiting for her "in the present" I don't know if you guys know what I mean... The thing is that I'd rather say something like "Jack said he is waiting for Ann" IF, is have to stress it, IF the situation still takes place in the present tense. BUT...

b) But if, for instance, on the next day, Bill, who is a friend of Jack, would report what Jack has told him, he would say "Jack said he was waiting for Ann". Am I right? If yes, why. If no, why?

3/ What's the difference between :

I would like to see it VS I should like to see it.

4/ According to Thomson & Martinet's Practical English Grammar the following sentece would have a different meaning if we change the tense from simple past to past perfect in reported speech :

I'm quoting form T&M :

He said, 'I loved her' must become "He said he had loved her" as otherwise there would be a change of meaning. But - He said, 'Ann arrived on Monday' could be reported "He said Ann arrived (<had> is optional here) on Monday"

This is presented in the point 309 "Past tenses sometimes remain unchanged"

a) I don't understand why there would be a change of meaning in the first sentence. Why do I HAVE to use past perfect? And why in the second one it's optional?

b) When past tenses remain past tenses without changing into past perfect? T&M gives examples but no explanmation :/

c) And, again, could we say "He said he loves her" instead of "He said he loved her" ? Why? Why not?

d) Does "He said he loved her" imply that he, possibly, doesn't love her anymore?

5/ Which ones are correct? And which ones are TOTALLY incorrect?

a) He says he knows her. VS

b) He said he knows her. VS

c) He said he knew her. VS

d) He says he knew her.

I guess that :

a) is ok, such a sentence may be heared when a person reads a letter from somebody outloud.

b) seems fine to me... implies that he knew her, he knows her and will know her...

c) ok? seems to imply that he used to know her but now he doesn't because maybe she's abroad or something...

d) correct? Again, a person reading a letter from somebody could say "Jack says/writes that he knew Jany... (bla bla bla... when they were at school, for instance) ?

6/ 'Who lives next door' ->

a) He asked who lived next door

VS

b) He asked who lives next door

Again, a) sounds to me like, somebody who lived next door doesn't live there anymore... But maybe I'm wrong...I don't know.
Thanks in advance...
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