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Past perfect - Reported speech

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Past perfect - Reported speech

Postby Rossana » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:24 am


Can there be two verbs in the past perfect tense in a reported speech?

Someone said, "...the past perfect progressive and past perfect tenses don't change in reported speech after a past-tense verb. This happens because in English, there isn't a tense that is "more past" than the past."

Which reported speech is correct in the following example?

He said, "They had finished the work when I arrived."
1) He said that they HAD FINISHED the work when he HAD ARRIVED.
2) He said that they HAD FINISHED the work when he ARRIVED.

Thanks for your help.

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Re: Past perfect - Reported speech

Postby Alan » Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:10 am

Yes, both are possible. The first is more formally correct.

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