Definition of backshift in English:

backshift

noun

mass nounGrammar
  • The changing of a present tense in direct speech to a past tense in reported speech (or a past tense to pluperfect).

    • ‘None of these items refer to eternal truths, and still the writers do not use backshift.’
    • ‘If the sentence starts in the past, there is often backshift of tenses in Reported speech.’
    • ‘We now have fine tuned our secondary set-up and have a solid backshift in all conditions.’

Pronunciation

backshift

/ˈbakʃɪft/