This is the subject that's been bugging me for quite some time now, even though I believe I've managed to grasp the entire reported speech pretty well.
If I want to repeat to someone what I previously said about my opinion on swimming, I could go either with #1:
- I said I didn't like to swim.
if I didn't want to emphasize anything, or with #2,
- I said I don't like to swim.
if I want to make it clear that my not liking to swim still holds true.
What I can't understand is why I have to switch tenses back if I'm talking about things like:
- He didn't know California was on the West Coast.
It's obvious that California hasn't moved a single inch, so why can't I express it by saying:
- He didn't know California is on the West Coast.
Similarly, is such shifting required in every utterance of such meaning? For example:
- I told you it was impossible to fly.
It's obvious that no matter how hard I tried I still wouldn't be able to fly. So can't I say "is impossible" (#7) in this case?
- I told you it is impossible to fly.