Change of Tenses
1. If the tense of the reporting verb is present or future the tense of the verb in the reported speech is not changed.
The man says, “Tea is ready.” (Direct Speech)
The man says that tea is ready. (Direct Speech)
The teacher will say, “The boy was naughty.” (Direct Speech)
The teacher will say that the boy was naughty. (Direct Speech)
2. If the tense of the reporting verb is the past tense of the verb in the reported speech is changed into the corresponding past tense.
(i) Present (play) Past Simple (played)
(ii) Present Progressive (is playing) Past Progressive (was playing)
(iii) Present Perfect (has played) Past Perfect (had played)
(iv) Present Perfect Progressive (has been playing) Past Perfect Progressive (had been playing)
(v) Past simple (played) Past Perfect (had played)
(vi) Past Progressive (was playing) Past Perfect Progressive (has been playing)
Past Perfect and Past Perfect Progressive remain unchanged. ‘Can’ is changed into ‘could’, ‘may’ is changed into ‘might’
If the reporting verb is in the Past Tense, shall or will in the reported speech is generally changed into should or would according to the rules for the use of shall and will as:
(a) Direct: He said, “I shall go to play.”
Indirect: He said that he would go to play the match.
(b) Direct: He said to me, “You will be rewarded.”
Indirect: He told me that I should be rewarded.
Exceptions to Rule 2:
If the reported speech expenses a universal truth, a habitual fact or a permanent fact (situation) the tense of the verb (which is simple present) in the reported speech must not be changed even if the reporting verb is in the past tense.
3. Simple Past Tense
The Simple Past Tense is formed with the past tense (2nd form = V2) of the verb.
The interrogative is formed with did + Subject + 1st form (VI) of the verb.
Affirmative: I played
Negative: I did not play
Question: Did I play?
Negative Question: Did I not play?
4. Past Continuous Tense
This tense is formed by using was/were and the present participle.
The negative is formed by putting not after was/ were.
The interrogative is formed by putting was/ were before the subject.
Affirmative: I was playing
Negative: I was not playing
Question: Was I playing?
Negative Question: Was I not playing?
5. The Past Perfect Tense
This tense is formed with had + past participle (IIIrd form of verb)
The negative is formed by putting ‘not’ after ‘had.’
The interrogative is formed by putting ‘had’ before the subject.
Affirmative: I had played.
Negative: I had not played.
Question: Had I played?
Negative Question: Had I not played?
6. Past Perfect Continuous (Progressive) Tense
This tense is formed with had been + Ist form (Basic Form) + ing.
The negative is formed by putting not after had.
The interrogative is formed by putting had before the subject
Affirmative: I had been playing.
Negative: I had not been playing.
Question: Had I been playing?
Negative Question: Had I not been playing?
7. Simple Future Tense
The Simple Future Tense is made with shall/ will + Ist form of the verb.
The negative is formed by putting ‘not’ after shall/will.
The interrogative is formed by putting shall/will before the subject
Note: ‘Shall’ is used with the Ist person (I, we) and ‘will’ with the IInd person (you) and ‘the’ with IIIrd person (he, she, it, they) in the ordinary future, ‘will’ can also be used with the Ist person in the affirmative and negative, but not in the interrogative.
Affirmative: I shall play.
Negative: I shall not play.
Question: Shall I play?
Negative Question: Shall I not play?
8. Future Continuous Tense
The tense is formed with shall/ will be + (Ist form + ing.)
The negative is formed withshall/ will not be + present participle (Ist form +ing.)
The interrogative is formed with shall/will + subject + be + present participle.
Affirmative: I shall be playing.
Negative: I shall not be playing.
Question: Shall I be playing?
Negative Question: Shall I not be playing?
9. Future Perfect Tense
The tense is formed shall/ will have + past participle (V3).
The negative is formed with shall/ will not have (not : has) + past participle.
The interrogative is formed with shall/ will + subject + they have + past participle.
(a) The teacher said, “The sun rises in the east.” (Direct)
The teacher said that the sun rises in the east. (Indirect)
(b) He said, “I get up at 5 a.m.” (Direct)
He said that he gets up at 5 a.m. (Indirect)
Rules for Change of Pronouns
1. The Pronoun of first person follows the person of the subject of the reporting verb.
I said to you, “You will pass.” (Direct)
I told you that you would pass. (Indirect)
2. Nouns of second person follow the person of the object of the reporting verb.
I said to you, “You will win.” (Direct)
I told you that you would win. (Indirect)
3. Nouns of third person remain the same (do not change).
I said, “He was naughty.” (Direct)
I said that he had been naughty. (Indirect)
Change of words showing Nearness
Nearness – Distance
Now – then
Today – yesterday/ that day
Yesterday – that day before/ the previous day
Tomorrow – the next day/ the following day
This week – that week/ last week
Last year – the year before
This – that
These – those
Here – there
Hither – thither
Ago – before
Thus – so/in that way
Come – go
Reporting of Statement
All general rules as given above are to be observed and in reporting verb ‘say’ is changed to tell, inform, reply answer, declare, announce, etc.
For converting a question into indirect speech, the following rules are observed:
(a) The reporting verb is changed to ask, enquire, demand, want to know pr some other verb having a similar meaning.
(b) ‘That’ is not used after the reporting verb.
(c) All the general rules are already stated or observed.
(d) When the question begins with a helping verb as: is, am, are, was, were, has, have, do, did, can, could, may, etc., ‘if’ is used to introduce indirect speech.
(e) When the question begins with an interrogative pronouns or adverbs as : when, why, where, what, who, how, etc., the indirect speech begins with the same pronouns or adverbs.
(f) The sentence changes its form from the interrogative to assertive i.e., the helping verb goes with the verb and the question mark is removed.
Reporting Orders, Offers, Warning
For converting imperative sentences into indirect speech the following rules are observed:
(a) The reporting verb is changed into order, command, advise, forbid, request, beg, implore, entreat, threaten, exhort, urge, ask, etc. in accordance with the sense that the sentence conveys.
(b) The imperative mood is changed into infinitive i.e., we use ‘to’ while removing commas and the tense is governed by ‘to.’
(c) Sometimes an object to be supplied to reporting verb from the context.
(d) No conjunction is generally used to introduce the reported speech.
(e) All the general rules as already stated are observed.
(i) The father said to his son, “Go and pay your fees at once.” (Direct)
The father told his son to go and pay his fees at once. (Indirect)
(ii) He said, “Please give me another chance.” (Direct)
He requested them to give him another chance. (Indirect)
(iii) The teacher said to the students, “Work hard and be regular in your studies.” (Direct)
The teacher advised the students to work hard and be regular in their studies. (Indirect)
Use of ‘Let’ in imperative Sentence
Let is used:
1. To make a proposal or suggestion.
When ‘let’ in the direct speech express a proposal, we may use should and that and change the reporting verb into propose or suggest as,
(i) He said to his friend, “Let us go home.” (Direct)
He proposed/ suggested to his friend that they should go home. (Indirect)
(ii) He said, “Let us go for a walk.” (Direct)
He proposed that they should go for a walk. (Indirect)
(iii) I said to him, “Let us run a race.” (Direct)
I proposed/ suggested to him that we should run a race. (Indirect)
2. To allow or to persuade.
When let means to allow or persuade, it is changed into the infinitive to let or into the phrase to be allowed or might be allowed; as,
(i) Sonali said to Ankita, “Let me do these sums.” (Direct)
Sonali requested Ankita to let her do those sums.
3. To express concession contract.
When let express concession or contrast, it is changed into might and the reporting verb generally remains unchanged; as,
(i) I said, “Let him work ever so hard, he will fail.” (Direct)
I said that he would fail however hard he might work. (Indirect)