The tragedy, she said, was that she didn't.

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
— Marla's philosophy of life was that she might die at any moment. The tragedy, she said, was that she didn't.
Fight Club, movie

Seems like the direct speech was "The tradegy is that I don't die." Is it like a habit? Does she have a habit of nor dying? Doesn't die although tries to?
Thank you.
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    No. The direct speech would be "The tragedy was that I didn't," she said.

    Chasnging to direct speech doesn't move an event from the past to the present."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Yes, probably not those exact words, but it would include "I don't".
    Yes, she does have habit of not dying, like all of us. Well, we all break it eventually.
    There is no suggestion that she tries or is trying to die.

    Edit, since I cross-posted with sdgraham who is of a different opinion: I imagine her words to have been something like "I live my life like I might die at any moment. The tragedy is that I don't."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you both.
    No. The direct speech would be "The tragedy was that I didn't," she said.

    Chasnging to direct speech doesn't move an event from the past to the present."
    But then a question arises: "didn't die when?" Because it looks like it was a single occasion of which we don't know. Otherwise I would have expected the past perfect:

    The tragedy, she said, was that she hadn't. --> The tragedy is that I haven't (died yet).
    :confused:
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thank you both.

    But then a question arises: "didn't die when?" Because it looks like it was a single occasion of which we don't know. Otherwise I would have expected the past perfect:

    The tragedy, she said, was that she hadn't. --> The tragedy is that I haven't (died yet).:thumbsup:
    :confused:
    That works, too, probably better.
     
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