He said he had done it/he has done it

noexcuse_hope

Senior Member
HK
Chinese ( Cantonese n Mandarin)
Hi There,

I have a question about reported speech.

Context:
Mom to Son: Have you done your homework?
Son to Mom: Yes.
One minute later...​
Dad to Mom: Has Pete done his homework?
Mom to Dad: He said he had done it/ he said he has done it./he says he has done it?

Grammar books endorse the first one always. BUT
I have heard people using all 3 in real life, what are the differences in meaning with these 3?

Thanks so much!
Chris
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    1. He said he had done it.
    2. He said he has done it.
    3. He says he has done it.

    All 3 give the same information to Dad. So in ordinary use, there is no difference between them. It is purely a style difference.

    But for all 3 to work, we assume some things:

    1. What son said, he still says (claims): he finished the homework.
    2. Order of events: finished homework, then mom spoke to son, then mom spoke to dad.
     

    noexcuse_hope

    Senior Member
    HK
    Chinese ( Cantonese n Mandarin)
    1. He said he had done it.
    2. He said he has done it.
    3. He says he has done it.

    All 3 give the same information to Dad. So in ordinary use, there is no difference between them. It is purely a style difference.

    But for all 3 to work, we assume some things:

    1. What son said, he still says (claims): he finished the homework.
    2. Order of events: finished homework, then mom spoke to son, then mom spoke to dad.
    What are the differences in styles?

    I saw a thread about will and would in reported speech, there are different assumptions when ppl use will vs would.
    he said he would/will come to the party.
    they would use will if the party hasn't started, would if the party has started.

    I just want to know if there are a similar difference in this case with had/ has finished.
     
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