Share this entry

Share this page

backshift

Line breaks: back|shift
Pronunciation: /ˈbakʃɪft
 
/

Definition of backshift in English:

noun

[mass noun] Grammar
The changing of a present tense in direct speech to a past tense in reported speech (or a past tense to pluperfect).
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.

Definition of backshift in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing