Why is "here" changed into "there" when converting this sentence into direct speech?


I have two questions about reported. First I came across such a sentence which I needed to transform from reported speech in direct speech.

Jack told me that he would be here at seven.

That's what I have "I’ll be here at seven". Having checked the answers, I have found such a variant as "I’ll be there at seven".

Could you explain why "here" is changed into "there"? I thought this rule is applied only to "direct-reported speech" where "here" changes into there.

I wonder why instead of a regular transformation "tonight - that night" in reported speech, I have the variant "that evening" in Answers. I couldn't have found any proof to this transformation on the internet.

Екатерина Климова

Posted 2020-08-14T13:36:44.183

Reputation: 39



The words "here" and "there" reflect the perspective of the speaker.

For the example with reported speech,

Jack told me that he would be here at seven.

In this example, the location depends on where I, the speaker am. I am always "here", by definition.

When I spoke to Jack, he said "I'll be there at seven."

For a quotation, one uses the exact words of the speaker, and when Jack spoke, "there" was remote to him.

In your example, "I'll be there at seven.", the location is remote from where the speaker is. The speaker might say "I am here now, but I'll be there at seven."

I'm not sure what your second question refers to. "Tonight" means "this very night" from the perspective of the speaker. "That night" means some other night that one is talking about.
If you have some example sentences, it might be possible to give a clearer answer.

Jack O'Flaherty

Posted 2020-08-14T13:36:44.183

Reputation: 16 815

Thank you very much for the clarification. My second question also touches on reported speech and "tonight - that night" transformation. The task is transform direct speech into reported using a hint. Here is the example. "What about going to the cinema tonight? Hint: suggest" In Answers section you have such a variant "He suggested going to the cinema that evening/tonight". – Екатерина Климова – 2020-08-14T14:08:49.557

1@Екатерина, that sentence could use either "today" or "tonight", depending on whether the speaker is referring the day she is speaking or not. It depends on when he spoke, and when she is speaking. – Jack O'Flaherty – 2020-08-14T14:20:18.660

3Of course, you can imagine John and his colleagues in an office talking about when they will return the next morning, in which case John would directly say "I'll be here at seven", so it's not a rule just a supposition about the context. – Pete Kirkham – 2020-08-14T22:05:32.593

5Please don't use codeblock for things that aren't code. Quotes should use quoteblock, and emphasis or strong emphasis should be used when appropriate. – Nij – 2020-08-15T06:18:40.520

I am here now, but I can be there later. I could also have been there earlier. – CJ Dennis – 2020-08-15T08:50:30.920

@Nij Could you please point me to a reference that explains why not to use "codeblock" to emphasize text? I don't want to break any rules, but I don't see what harm is done by using tickmarks to emphasize a single line of text, rather than using up five lines of space in an answer. – Jack O'Flaherty – 2020-08-15T12:44:02.097


Tickmarks don't emphasize anything; *emphasis does!* Codeblocks are tagged systematically as such, and therefore break the usability of certain software, as well as make access harder for users on some devices. Meta SE for additional consideration.

– Nij – 2020-08-15T12:57:41.577

The short answer (for why not to use backticks/code blocks): Because it makes (some) screen readers spell out each character one at a time. This is very confusing for blind people. – Kevin – 2020-08-15T19:44:50.830

1Thank you, Nij and Kevin, for your clarification and for the meta link. – Jack O'Flaherty – 2020-08-15T21:13:03.033


You have to think about the actual locations and where people are; you can't find the answer using transformation rules.

Imagine that Alice and Jack are in a park, and they are planning to meet again later in a bar. Jack is going to say, "I'll be there at seven." He's talking about the bar, and he is not in the bar, and so the bar is "there" to him.

On the other hand, imagine that Alice and Jack are already in the bar, and they are planning to meet again later, back in that same bar. In that case, Jack is going to say, "I'll be here at seven." He's talking about the bar, and he is in the bar, so the bar is "here" to him.

Now imagine that Alice is in the bar and she's waiting for Jack. Regardless of what Jack said, Alice is going to say, "Jack told me that he would be here at seven." Alice is talking about the bar, and she is in the bar, and so the bar is "here" to her.

Likewise, imagine that all the above has happened and now it's the following day. Alice is in the park with her friends and talking about what happened yesterday at the bar. Regardless of the words that Jack used, Alice is going to say, "Jack told me that he would be there at seven." She's talking about the bar, but she is not in the bar, so the bar is "there" to her.

Any combination of "here" and "there" is possible.

Tanner Swett

Posted 2020-08-14T13:36:44.183

Reputation: 4 341

2Exactly! If the original exercise was given without adequately specifying the context of the quoted speech, it's a bit unfair to expect someone to know whether Jack said "here" or "there." – David K – 2020-08-15T16:51:31.573

Thanks a lot. You've made it perfectly clear! – Екатерина Климова – 2020-08-15T17:28:03.487