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Changes in Tense, Backshift

Whether the tense changes in the reported phrase depends on the tense of the reporting verb. Most of the time, the reporting verb is "say" or "tell". Also, it normally comes at the beginning of the sentence.
"I love your shoes", Tom said. Tom says he loves my shoes.
Reporting verb: simple present or present perfect Tense does not change!

Aussagesätze

Änderung der Zeitform, "Backshift"

Ob sich die Zeitform in der Indirekten Rede verändert, hängt vom einleitenden Verb ab. Meistens ist das einleitende Verb "say" oder "tell". Es steht außerdem meistens ziemlich weit am Anfang des Satzes.
"I love your shoes", Tom said. Tom says he loves my shoes.
Einleitendes Verb im Simple Present oder Present Perfect Zeitform verändert sich nicht!
This might sound complicated, but it is really easy:
  • Direct speech: Sue: "I often go to school by bike." (Here, "go" is in simple present)
  • Indirect speech: Sue says she often goes to school by bike. (The reporting verb "say" is in simple present)
  • Indirect speech: Sue has told me that she goes to school by bike. (The reporting verb is in present perfect)
Did you notice that there are two different examples for indirect speech?
  • In the first of these two, the reporting verb "say" is in the simple present. You would use it if you repeat what someone else said just a minute ago – in our example, Sue might still be present.
  • The second one has its reporting verb in the present perfect ("has said"). In this case you repeat what someone else has said some time ago, for example after Sue has already left.
Reporting verb: simple past ("he said", "he told me") Tense in the reported sentence changes, is it backshifted.
The table below will explain this further.
Das klingt vielleicht kompliziert, ist aber ganz einfach:
  • Direkte Rede: Sue: "I often go to school by bike." (Hier steht "go" im Simple Present)
  • Indirekte Rede: Sue "says" she often "goes" to school by bike. (Das einleitende Verb "say" steht im Simple Present)
  • Indirekte Rede: Sue "has said" that she often "goes" to school by bike. (Das einleitende Verb steht im Present Perfect)
Hast du bemerkt, dass es zwei verschiedene Beispiele für Indirekte Rede gibt?
  • Im ersten dieser beiden steht das einleitende Verb "say" im Simple Present. Man sagt sowas, wenn man etwas erzählt, das jemand anderes erst vor sehr kurzer Zeit gesagt hat – in unserem Beispiel wäre Sue vielleicht noch selbst anwesend.
  • Im zweiten Beispiel steht das einleitende Verb im Present Perfect ("has said"). In diesem Fall wiederholt man etwas, das vor einer längeren Zeit gesagt wurde, zum Beispiel nachdem Sue schon gegangen ist.
Einleitendes Verb: Simple Past ("he said", "he told me") Die Zeitform in der Indirekten Rede verändert sich, sie wird zurückversetzt.
Die nachstehende Tabelle wird das weiter ausführen.
   
 
   
 
simple present simple past
 
Marc: "I take a walk every Sunday." Marc said he took a walk every Sunday.
 
simple past past perfect
 
Anna: "I enjoyed the holiday." Anna said she had enjoyed the holiday.
 
present perfect past perfect
 
Lucas: "I have never been to America." Lucas said he had never been to America.
 
will would
 
Sophie: "I will meet her this afternoon." Sophie said she would meet her that afternoon.
 
can could
 
Toby: "I can help you if you want." Toby said he could help me if I wanted.
 
may might
 
Mrs Wood: "Tina may come to visit me any time." Mrs Wood said that Tina might visit her any time.
 
 
Verbs in the past perfect do not change. Also, "would, could, might, should" and "ought to" stay the same.
Test yourself in the exercise below! Match up the direct speech with the appropriate "translation" into reported speech!
Verben im Past Perfect verändern sich nicht. "Would, could, might, should" und "ought to" bleiben ebenfalls gleich.
Teste dich in der nachstehenden Übung! Verbinde die Direkte Rede mit den passenden "Übersetzungen" in Indirekte Rede!
 
 
  • She said she loved chocolate.
     
  • Maria told me she had not known that.
     
  • She said she would go to the supermarket the next day.
     
  • He said that he could not read a newpaper without his glasses.
     
  • He says he hates it when it is raining.
     
  • He said he had always loved to listen to music.
     
  • Marc: "I hate it when it is raining."
     
  • Jennifer: "I will go to the supermarket tomorrow."
     
  • Andrew: "I have always loved to listen to music."
     
  • Sandy: "I love chocolate."
     
  • Harold: "I cannot read a newspaper without my glasses."
     
  • Maria: "I did not know that."
     
 
 
 
 
 
 

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