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I recall me doctoral advisor telling me that when a reference is made to something said earlier in the same document, it should be in the present, not past, tense because that previous statement still exists.

For example, "Earlier in this report it is stated that...." instead of "Earlier in this report it was stated that...."

(The same approach, of course, would be used for comments that come later in the same document, such as, "Later in this report it is stated that....")

I'd like feedback on this point, since an editor I'm working with is changing these references to the past tense, and I either want to get set straight or have some support for my approach.

Thanks!

Bill
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Hi Bill,

The received grammar of reported speech is that it is from the viewpoint of the speaker, so that 'earlier in this report it was stated' and 'later in this report it will be proved' is the unmarked form. However, if the state mentioned continues to exist in real time, then present tense is also acceptable, some would say preferable.

In the end, the Editor is the authority, of course.
Comments  
BSquared18I recall me doctoral advisor telling me that when a reference is made to something said earlier in the same document, it should be in the present, not past, tense because that previous statement still exists.

For example, "Earlier in this report it is stated that...." instead of "Earlier in this report it was stated that...."

(The same approach, of course, would be used for comments that come later in the same document, such as, "Later in this report it is stated that....")

I'd like feedback on this point, since an editor I'm working with is changing these references to the past tense, and I either want to get set straight or have some support for my approach.

Thanks!

Bill