§ 7. The main sphere where the sequence of tenses is applied is object clauses.
Harris saidhe knewwhat kind of place I meant.(Jerome)
The sequence of tenses is not observed if the object clause expresses a general truth:
The pupils knewthat water consistsof oxygen and hydrogen.
In political language a present tense is often used in the object clause after a past tense in the principal clause.
The speaker saidthat the peoples wantpeace.
The sequence of tenses is often not observed if something is represented as habitual, customary, or characteristic.
He askedthe guard what time the train usually starts.(Curme) He did notseem to know that nettles sting.(Curme)
§ 8. In conventional direct speech the tenses are used according to the same principle which governs their uses in complex sen-
tences with a principal clause and an object clause, though there is no principal clause.
She put her hands up to her ears; it was because there were some thin gold rings in them, which were also worth a little money. Yes, she couldsurely get some money for her ornaments. The landlord and landlady had beengood to her; perhaps they would helpher to get the money for these things. But this money would not keepher long; what shouldshe dowhen it was gone? (Eliot)
§ 9. The sequence of tenses does not concern attributive relative clauses and adverbial clauses of cause, result, comparison, and concession (if the verb stands in the Indicative Mood).
I didn't go outof the shop door, but at the back door, which
opensinto a narrow alley. (Eliot)
He didn't goto the cinema last night because he will havean
She workedso much yesterday that she is feelingquite weak
Last year he workedmore than he doesthis year.
He insistedon going to the library yesterday, though he will
not wantthe book to-day.
§ 10. The sequence of tenses is generally observed in subject clauses and predicative clauses:
What he would dowas of no importance. The question waswhat he would donext.
It is also observed in appositive attributive clauses:
She hada sickening sense that life would go onin this way (Eliot)
Chapter XIX INDIRECT SPEECH
§ 1. In contrast to directspeech, in which the exact words of the speaker are given, indirectspeech is a form of utterance in which these words are reported,
§ 2. When direct speech is converted into indirect speech the following changes are introduced:
1. The quotation marks and the comma (or colon) are omitted.
2. If the speaker reports somebody else's words the pronouns of the 1st person are replaced by those of the 3rd person; the pro nouns of the 2nd by those of the 1st or 3rd.
He said, "I am ready." He said he was ready.
If the speaker reports his or her own words, the pronouns are naturally not changed:
I said, "I am ready." I said I was ready.
3. If the verb in the principal clause is in the past tense, de monstrative pronouns and adverbials expressing nearness are replaced by words expressing distance:
Here is replaced by there. This by that, these by those.
Now by then, at that time (moment), or no adverb is used at all.
To-day is replaced by that day.
Yesterday by the day before or on the previous day.
Ago by before.
A year ago by a year before.
Last night by the previous night.
DIRECT SPEECH INDIRECT SPEECH
She said, "We have been herefor She said they had been therefor
a week." a week.
She said, "I met them yesterday." She said she had met them the
day before.She said, "We can't settle anything She said they could not settle