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Could you tell me whether this sentence, "President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he reviews the agreements.", is right?

If it is fine, could you tell me what the diffrence is between it and "President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he reviewed the agreements."?

Thank you.
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Comments  
This is reported speech with three time frames involved. You can backshift all of them, or certain ones without changing the meaning.

President Obama says he will withhold judgement until he reviews (has reviewed) the agreements.
President Obama said he will withhold judgement until he reviews (has reviewed) the agreements.
President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he reviews etc.
President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he reviewed the agreements.

I don't think you can use "President Obama says he would etc.", because this implies a condition ("if").
I suppose that the original sentence was

I will withhold judgment until I review the agreements. (said by President Obama)

The rule says that in reported speech you should backshift the verbs, which in the case of your sentence results in the following

President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he has reviewed the agreements.

Note, however, that there's no consensus (among grammarians) regarding this rule so many people might find both versions acceptable. One thing that stands out, though, is that only "review" has retained the original form/tense whereas "will withhold" has backshifted (to "would withhold).
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Hi, Ivanhr,

I agree.

I should have added something about the non-shift option, but it seemed already cluttered. Emotion: big smile

If we say "President Obama says" this implies that he is still known to hold this opinion.
But if in fact we know that he has claimed to have changed his mind, we must use the past (he said).
Hi Avangi,

If we say "President Obama says" then there's no need to backshift at all (the non-shift option). According to some grammarians, even if we use the past (President Obama said) and what he said still has a bearing on the present (he hasn't changed his mind) we still woudn't be wrong if we didn't backshift. However, backshifting just one verb and leaving the other unchanged seems inconsistent. I'm not clear on this one.[A]
Ivanhr The rule says that in reported speech you should backshift the verbs, which in the case of your sentence results in the following President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he has reviewed the agreements.
It should have been....until he reviewed the agreements. (simple past)

One additional note

The non-shift option will also work with the present perfect (President Obama has said...).
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Sometimes I wonder if the benefits obtained are commensurate with the effort expended in following these rules. Emotion: geeked - A.
My take is, the context contains a pattern of indirect speech. In my opinion, the process of reviewing needs to be in present perfect ' has reviewed ', meaning until he has a chance to complete this (review) process (note that there was no mentioning of "when"), he will continue to withhold his judgement. So I'd say the correct version is: "President Obama said he would with hold.....until he has reviewed the agreements."
lucas21cCould you tell me whether this sentence, "President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he reviews the agreements.", is right?
If it is fine, could you tell me what the diffrence is between it and "President Obama said he would withhold judgement until he reviewed the agreements."?

The simple answer is that both are fine and they mean the same, despite the different tenses used in the embedded subordinated clauses. In the first one, the verb "reviews" is present tense - the same tense that Obama used in his original utterance - whereas in the second it's the past tense "reviewed". This kind of change in tense is referred to as backshift and is very common in indirect reported speech like this. Backshifting tense is often optional: you can keep the original tense instead of backshifting it, as your first example demonstrates. Notice, incidentally, that in the matrix clause, the main verb "said" is past tense, as is the modal verb "would".

BillJ
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