Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2012 11:47 am
She said that her name is/was Jane.

Which word in bold should I use?

Thanks.
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Type: Question • Score: 2 • Views: 1,408 • Replies: 6
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sozobe
 
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Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2012 11:50 am
@tanguatlay,
She said that her name was Jane.

or

She said, "My name is Jane."
JTT
 
  0  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2012 08:39 pm
@sozobe,
I'm afraid to say, Soz, that that's not accurate advice. The backshifting that occurs in reported speech isn't a matter of some set rule. Backshifting in many cases is a personal choice.There is often no backshift in cases like this, when the situation remains current.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Tue 24 Apr, 2012 10:54 pm
@JTT,
Thanks, Sozobe and JTT.
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JTT
 
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Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2012 09:12 pm
@tanguatlay,
Sozobe, in giving you that advice, Ms Tan, is following the "rule". This means that it is a prescription. Most US students are taught a lot of these prescriptions and they are not accurate representations of how English is used, or even how it has ever been used.

Quote:
What makes the backshifting rule even more difficult is that there are exceptions in use - a fact to which most descriptive and ESL/EFL grammar books are sensitive, and one which calls the "rule" into question. ...

State-event remains true. Thompson (1994:109ff), drawing on a corpus database, suggests that present tense is retained in reported clauses when the author wishes to emphasize that the state or event in question holds true at the time of reporting and/or is not presented as something temporary.

The Grammar Book - An ESL/EFL Teacher's Course Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman 2nd edition; page 690


There are other reasons for maintaining the present tense but this is adequate for this instance.
tanguatlay
 
  1  
Reply Wed 25 Apr, 2012 10:34 pm
@JTT,
Thanks, JTT, for your being so helpful and for the invaluable information.
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JTT
 
  1  
Reply Thu 26 Apr, 2012 06:29 pm
@JTT,
Quote:
suggests that present tense is retained in reported clauses when the author wishes to emphasize that the state or event in question holds true at the time of reporting and/or is not presented as something temporary.


This, of course, occurs frequently in speech because many/most reports are about current events.
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