Reporting on what people have said…

Yo! I’m working my way through Genki 1 and I’m in need of help.

Summary

Exercise IV - Question 10

I have to report what Yasmin said which is…

薬を飲んで、ねていました。

The answer book shows this as the correct answer…

ヤスミンさんは薬を飲んで、寝ていたと言っていました。

Why is the correct answer not…

ヤスミンさんは薬を飲んで、寝たと言っていました。

Why does 寝る become 寝ていた instead of 寝た in this sentence?

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It was 寝ていました in the first part. But when reporting something indirectly, you don’t use polite language on that part, so it became 寝ていた.

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Sorry if I’ve explained this really badly, I am truly confused. Also forgot to take coffee to work today so that’s deffo not helping with the situation…

I think I just need to go back and read the previous chapters again cause there’s obviously something I’m forgetting.

Another example in the book is…

Takeshi: 歌舞伎は12時に始まって、4時に終わりました。

If I wanted to report this to someone else the answer would be…

たけしさんは歌舞伎は12時に始まって、4時に終わったと言っていました。

So in this sentence is 終わりました。The dictionary form is 終わる which becomes 終わった in the past tense short form. So the answer is 終わったと言っていました。

But in the sentence I’m having trouble understanding. 寝ていたました。The dictionary form is 寝る which becomes 寝た in the past tense short form. But the answer is 寝ていたと言っていました。Not 寝たと言っていました。

Why?

Okay I’m confused and making no sense now I think…

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Okay I’m an idiot.

ている is used to describe something that is currently happening which is why it needs to be 寝ていた and not 寝た

It’s been a while since that chapter in Genki so I forgot about it.

I hope I’m right in that thinking anyway?

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Yeah, I think you’ve got it now. It describes a past duration.

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