reported speech
Thread poster: milka_oka
May 29, 2012

Hello, I'm new here and I need to have an answer if it is possible to say(in the situation when a half an hour ago I spoke with a person):
Person to who I called said that the signed documents can be SCANNED and send via mail.
Or we need to past tense to this sentence?
Please comment.
Thanks.


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Helena Chavarria  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 19:04
Member (2011)
Spanish to English
+ ...
This is what I would say May 29, 2012

milka_oka wrote:

Hello, I'm new here and I need to have an answer if it is possible to say(in the situation when a half an hour ago I spoke with a person):
Person to who I called said that the signed documents can be SCANNED and send via mail.
Or we need to past tense to this sentence?
Please comment.
Thanks.


The person I called told me the signed documents can/could be scanned and sent by email (post? "Mail" refers to a letter sent in the traditional manner).

You can use either "can" or "could" but there are other mistakes in the fragment.


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 19:04
English to Croatian
+ ...
Sequence of tenses in English May 29, 2012

Yes, in case of indirect speech you need to match the tense of the events the took place in the past (Tense Agreement). But your sentence is incorrect on several other levels as well.

There are some exceptions to this rule, like with all rules, i.e. depending on the reference of the second action and whether it is still valid or it was only valid in the past (at the moment of speaking).



[Edited at 2012-05-29 22:31 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 19:04
English to Croatian
+ ...
Agree May 29, 2012

Helena Chavarria wrote:

milka_oka wrote:

Hello, I'm new here and I need to have an answer if it is possible to say(in the situation when a half an hour ago I spoke with a person):
Person to who I called said that the signed documents can be SCANNED and send via mail.
Or we need to past tense to this sentence?
Please comment.
Thanks.


The person I called told me the signed documents can/could be scanned and sent by email (post? "Mail" refers to a letter sent in the traditional manner).

You can use either "can" or "could" but there are other mistakes in the fragment.


Yes, and the reference will be slightly changed when one is used instead of the other (can/could), however, in some cases of indirect speech having both options is not possible (i.e. the sequence must be implemented).

[Edited at 2012-05-29 23:14 GMT]


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milka_oka
TOPIC STARTER
just "can" and "send" May 30, 2012

Lingua 5B wrote:

Helena Chavarria wrote:

milka_oka wrote:

Hello, I'm new here and I need to have an answer if it is possible to say(in the situation when a half an hour ago I spoke with a person):
Person to who I called said that the signed documents can be SCANNED and send via mail.
Or we need to past tense to this sentence?
Please comment.
Thanks.


The person I called told me the signed documents can/could be scanned and sent by email (post? "Mail" refers to a letter sent in the traditional manner).

You can use either "can" or "could" but there are other mistakes in the fragment.


Yes, and the reference will be slightly changed when one is used instead of the other (can/could), however, in some cases of indirect speech having both options is not possible (i.e. the sequence must be implemented).

[Edited at 2012-05-29 23:14 GMT]



Thank you all very much:) Actually this senttence was written by my friend and I would write it in different way to, I just wanted to make sure about tenses in teported speech. So "can" can be moved to the past - "could" but "send" has to be changed into "sent". Thanks again.


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