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Thread: Reported speech

  1. #1
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    Reported speech

    Our teacher told us that reported speech is completely different in the Russian language:


    e.g.

    He told me that he has written a letter to his uncle...

    Он сказал, что он пишет письмо своему дяде....

    ...constructions like that....look strange to me....somehow..it sounds like "he's going to write/intends writing"
    is it wrong to say:
    Он сказал, что он написал письмо своему дяде....?????????????
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  2. #2
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    The reported speach is given in the tense it was originally in:

    Vladimir: "I like tennis" [present tense]
    Vladimir told me that he liked tennis [past tense]

    Владимир: "Я люблю теннис" [present]
    Владимир мне сказал, что он любит теннис [present] - Vladimir told me that he likes tennis.


    He told me that he has written a letter to his uncle...

    This would be the same in English and Russian because when he said that he had written the letter is was already in the past:

    Vladimir: "I have written a letter to my uncle" [past]
    Vladimir told me that he had written a letter his uncle [past]

    Владимир: "Я написал письмо даде" [past]
    Владимир мне сказал, что он написал письмо даде [past] - Vladimir told me that he had written a letter to his uncle

    BUT:

    Vladimir: "I am writing a letter to my uncle" [present]
    Vladimir told me that he was writing a letter to his uncle [past]

    Владимир: "Я пишу письмо даде" [present]
    Владимир мне сказал, что он пишет письмо даде [present] - Vladimir told me that he is writing a letter to his uncle

    Vladimir told me that he is writing a letter to his uncle.
    In English this sentence means that right now he is writing the letter.
    Whereas the same sentenc in Russian could also mean that in the psat he was writing the letter.

    Basically you remember that the speach is retained in it's original tense. If it was said it present tense, you report it in present tense. If if was given in past tense, you give it in past tense.
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    огромное спасибо
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