Definition of backshift in English:

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backshift

Pronunciation: /ˈbakʃɪft/

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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: back|shift

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