sequence of tenses: announced and will/would?

kiku_hana

Senior Member
Vietnamese
Hi All,

Here is a sentence in Grammar Practice for Upper-Intermediate Students:
The Prime Minister has announced that taxes are to increase from the beginning of next year.

Is it ok if we say: The Prime Minister announced that taxes will/would increase from the beginning of next year.
I think they are fine but not 100% sure. How is your opinion?

Thank you.
Kiku
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    To be very strict, there are two options here:

    The Prime Minister announced that taxes will increase from the beginning of next year.
    This is a present statement of the state of taxation from 2013 onwards.

    The Prime Minister announced that taxes would increase from the beginning of the following year.
    This is reported speech concerning something that happened in the past - perhaps even centuries ago.
     

    kiku_hana

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    Hi Keith, thank you very much for your explanation. However, about option 2, I think differently. As it is a reported speech, so grammatically, will is changed into would but the sentence still indicates the future state that taxes will increase.

    I hope that my explanation is clear enough for you to understand and I will be very glad to hear your opinion.

    Kiku
     

    djmc

    Senior Member
    English - United Kingdom
    The direct speech is "taxes will increase".
    Reported speech the future tense will normally changes to would so He said that taxes would increase.
    However if the time envisaged in the original discorse is still in the future then the future tense can be retained. This usage can be thought to be more graphic.
    If the time envisaged is in the past then would is used.
    Thus
    Napoleon said that he would invade Russia. This whether it was or was not the case that he actually invaded Russia.
    The prime minister said that he will increase taxes or The prime minister said that he would increase taxes.
     
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