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From the following sentences:

Marcus: Darrel, did you meet John? Has he eaten his dinner?
a) Darrel: Yes I did. He says he has eaten his dinner.
b) Darrel: Yes I did. He said he has eaten his dinner.
c) Darrel: Yes I did. He said he had eaten his dinner.

By comparing the above sentences, could someone tells me which one of them should be used? I am not a native speaker so I cannot differentiate at what time the word 'say' should be use and at what time the word 'said' should be used. It always confuses me when I try to report what other people have said to me. I don't know wether I should use present tense all along, past + present perfect tense, or past tense + past paticiple along. Could somebody tell me the difference between them what which of the above sentence you would use when you speak?
Comments  
Grammatically, the only choice is (C). Reported speech normally requires the verb tenses to retrograde. Darrell saw John in the past; at that time John spoke; at that time his dinner was previously consumed.

However, Marcus and Darrell may not yet have eaten the dinner to which they were going to invite John. In that case, Darrell's brain may focus on the meal to come, and say (B).

Or, John may be standing just outside the door, having met Darrell a bare moment ago. In this case, Darrell might indeed say (A), the meeting experience still fresh in his consciousness.

So, practically speaking, all are possible in conversational speech.
"says" goes with "has" or "is", etc.
"said" goes with "had" or "was", etc.

Only b) violates the "rule". Personally, I would say a). Maybe c). And I wouldn't really cringe to hear b), either.

Emotion: smile
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Thank you Mister Micawber and CalifJim. The situation is more chaos that I expected. I still cannot catch the usage of 'say' and 'said'. My friend who is a native speaker told me that most of the time he would use sentences b in daily conversation but CalifJim sugguested not to use b. I am a little confused here. Could anyone tell me if there is a standardized way/easy way to memorized how to use sentence a,b, and c in daily life situation? I am a little confused here and I don't know what I ask here is a valid question.
Following is yet another example I have made to clear my doubt.

a) Mika: I met Patrick yesterday and he tells me that he is going to Berlin tomorrow.
b) Mika: I met Patrick yesterday and he told me that he is going to Berlin tomorrow.
c) Mika: I met Patrick yesterday and he told me that he was going to Berline tomorrow( or two days after).

Is sentence b correct grammatically?
I know by default of English usage sentence c should be used. What I want to know is, in real life when two people are having conversation, would the speaker bother to keep what he/she heard in past tense when he/she tends to relate what he/she heard in the past even the event is yet to happen?

I think in short my point is, if you are the person who wants to relate what you heard in the past to your friend with the event from what you heard is yet to happen, most of the time what tens you tend to use? Total Past, mixed tenses, or total present?

Reported speech is one of the major weekness of my and I really don't know how should I speak when I speak with other people because of the tense. That's because from what I hear in real life of how people speak is totally different from the grammar taught by the books. I am totally confused.
All I can suggest is that you carefully re-read my original post, Munchun. All three are possible in conversation, and it depends on the speaker's (or sometimes the listener's presumed) mental focus on the subject, or specific details of the interlocution.

Native speakers in this situation do not consciously choose one or the other-- the selection is rapid and subconscious.
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I think your last reply has clear my doubt. "Native speakers in this situation do not consciously choose one or the other-- the selection is rapid and subconscious. " I think this sentence has solve my problem. Thank you.Emotion: big smile