Definition of backshift in English:


Syllabification: back·shift
Pronunciation: /ˈbakˌSHift


  • The changing of a present tense in direct speech to a past tense in reported speech (or a past tense to pluperfect).
    More example sentences
    • We now have fine tuned our secondary set-up and have a solid backshift in all conditions.
    • If the sentence starts in the past, there is often backshift of tenses in Reported speech.
    • None of these items refer to eternal truths, and still the writers do not use backshift.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody