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Pridané: 18.05.2015
Autor: Andy BILLINGHAM
Kategória: 10/2015

Andy's Wordshop

Lately several people have asked me to "explain" reported (indirect) speech in English, mainly the use of past forms in the parts of speech that are reported. There are some examples in the piece about Andrej Kiska's visit to USSK: the President SR said [...] he had chosen U. S. Steel Košice precisely because it was the largest private employer in Slovakia and it had a high standard of employee care.

There's one past tense here (said) and four past forms. "He had chosen" indicates that Kiska was talking about the past at that point (he chose USSK before he came here), but "it was" and "it had" refer to the present (USSK is the largest..., and it has a high standard). So the reason for the past forms is not because the speaker was talking about the past, but because the person reporting the speech is giving us a signal that the ideas are not his/her own.

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