and they <have told me><tell me><have said><say> it is none of my business

JJXR

Senior Member
Russian
Hello to all,

Thanks for reading my post.


Context:

Chris asks John how much money John's friends have made from flipping property lately. John replies to Chris with one of the sentences below.

Sample sentences:

1. I've asked them about it, and they've told me it is none of my business.

2. I've asked them about it, and they've said it is none of my business.

3. I've asked them about it, and they tell me it is none of my business.

4. I've asked them about it, and they say it is none of my business.

Question:

Do the bolded tenses work in all four sentences in the context given? Are they idiomatic?


Thanks a lot for any comments, corrections or suggestions!

Regards,
JJXR
 
  • JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hello! I wonder if it would be correct to use the present perfect "have asked" and then follow it with the simple past "told"/"said", like this:

    5. I've asked them about it, and they told me it is none of my business.
    6. I've asked them about it, and they said it is none of my business.


    Do the bolded tenses work in sentences #5 and #6? Thanks in advance.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes that is fine. You can equally say
    7. I asked them about it, and they have told me it is none of my business.
    8. I asked them about it, and they have said it is none of my business.


    I suppose it depends on whether you want to emphasize that you know the response
    - because you asked or
    - because they told you.
     
    Last edited:

    JJXR

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Hello! And if John replies to Chris with the sentence below:

    9. I asked them about it, and they told me that it is none of my business.

    Does sentence #9 work in the context of post #1, in which the asking and the telling are in the recent past? Thanks.
     
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