Reply to "Reported Speech"

Gustavo, Contributor posted:

Personally, I had chosen not to answer your question because I was doubtful about (1). Let's wait and see what David can tell us, but I don't think any of the options work. Also, I'd say "get a visa" rather than "take a visa." I'd say the following, but I don't know if that is the intended meaning:

1a. My friend told me that he wouldn't get the visa to the USA until he had paid for it.

I like the way you've revised that sentence, Gustavo. It makes a lot more sense to me than the original sentence. In my experience with visas, it would be impossible to take a visa to a country without receiving the visa, and one would not receive the visa unless one had paid for it. So it would be pointless to say that one hadn't taken a visa to a country until one had paid for it.

That said, if we are converting the sentence "He told me, 'I didn't take the visa to the USA until I had paid for it'" to backshifted indirect reported speech, then Rasha's choice ("hadn't taken") is the correct answer. If we are converting that sentence to indirect reported speech without backshift, then Rasha's teacher's choice is the correct answer.

Rasha, you might consider asking your teacher (a) what sentence (1) is supposed to mean, (b) why anyone would want to say it, and (c) why he or she (I don't know whether your teacher is a man or a woman) doesn't want to backshift the verb. As to your question about whether you had asked too many questions in one thread, I do prefer there to be only one grammatical problem per thread.

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