INDIRECT SPEECH: Tenses

1. Past Reporting Verbs (He said he didn't like driving.)
In reporting what someone said, it's common to use different tenses.

Example:
Jen (Monday morning): I can't join you tonight. I have to go home early.
Lisa (Monday evening): Jen said she couldn't join us tonight. She had to go home early.

2. Typical Tense Change After Past Reporting Verbs

Examples:
Will to would; simple present to simple past; present progressive to past progressive; present perfect to past perfect; past to past perfect; can to could; may to might

But past perfect tense usually do not change.

3. Past Modal Modal Verbs Remain Unchanged (would, could, etc.)
In indirect speech, past modal verbs do not change.

Example:
Direct: It would be nice if we could go somewhere.
Indirect: She said it would be nice if we could go somewhere.

4. I told them I was a reporter
The original tenses are usually change even if what the speaker said remains true after past reporting verbs.

Example:
Direct: I'm a reporter.
Indirect: I told them I was a reporter.
Direct: I can drop Shaun to school tomorrow.
Indirect: He said he could drop Shaun to school tomorrow.

5. He says, I'll tell her, etc.
Tenses remains the same after present, future and present perfect reporting verbs.

Example:
Direct: I don't want to stay here.
Indirect: He says he doesn't want to stay here.
Direct: We need to tidy up the room.
Indirect: I'll tell them you need to tidy up the room.
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