Changes in Tense of the Reported Speech

It is previously mentioned that there are certain changes in the tense of the Reported Speech when
it is converted into Indirect Narration. Here it is discussed in more detail.

Changes in the Tense of Reported Speech when it is converted into Indirect Narration

     Present Indefinite Tense into Past Indefinite
     Present Continuous Tense into Past Continuous Tense 
     Present Perfect Tense into Pas Perfect Tense 
     Present Perfect Continuous Tense into Past Perfect continuous Tense 
     Past Indefinite Tense into Past Perfect Tense
     Past Continuous Tense into Past Perfect Continuous Tense 
     Past Perfect not changed
     Will into would 
     Will be into would be
     Will have into would have

Note: Remember these changes only take place when Reported Speech is in Past.

Examples.

DIRECT SPEECH INDIRECT SPEECH
PRESENT TENSE
PRESENT INDEFINITE changes into PAST INDEFINITE
He said, "I spend a lot"
He said, "he comes to see me"
They said, "we can win this time"
He said, "I come to know this "
He said that he spent a lot.
He said that He came to see him.
They said that they could win that time.
He said that came to know that.
PRESENT CONTINUOUS changes into PAST CONTINUOUS
He said, "he is singing a song"
She said, "I am washing dishes"
They said, "we are enjoying the situation"
I said, "It is raining outside"
He said that he was singing a song.
She said that she was washing dishes.
They said that they were enjoying the situation.
I said that it was raining outside.
PRESENT PERFECT changes into PAST PERFECT
She said, "he has finished his job"
He said, "I have started writing"
I said, "she has taken lunch"
They said, "We have understood.
She said that he had finished his job.
He said that he had started writing.
I said that she had taken lunch.
They said that they had understood.
PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS changes into PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS
She said, "I have been sleeping for two hours"
He said, "they have not been properly handling the situation."
He said, "I have been suffering from headache"
She said that he had been sleeping for two hours.
He said that they had not been properly handling the situation.
He said that he had been suffering from headache.
PAST TENSE
PAST INDEFINITE changes into PAST INDEFINITE
He said to his friend"I came to see you yesterday"
Mark said, "I told you the truth?"
My friend said, "I made him believe"
They said, "we knew the secret"
He told his friend that he had come to see him previous day.
Mark said that he had told me the truth.
My friend said that he had made him believe.
They said that they had known the secret.
PAST CONTINUOUS changes into PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS
He said, "I was driving"
He said to John, " I was waiting for you"
I said, "It was snowing outside"
She said, "I was attending the class"
He said that he had been driving.
He said to John that he had been waiting for him.
I said that it had been snowing outside.
She said that she had been attending the class.
PAST PERFECT changes into PAST PERFECT (tense does not change)
He said, "I had visited doctor yesterday"
He said, "I had started speaking English"
I said, "I had spoken to him"
They said, "We had tried to catch him.
He said that she had visited doctor that day.
He said that he had started speaking English.
I said that he had spoken to him.
They said they had tried to catch him.
FUTURE TENSE
FUTURE INDEFINITE TENSE WILL changes into WOULD
She said, "I will study"
She said, "I shall buy a Laptop"
They said to him, "we will come to know finally"
I said, "He will take the test"
She said that she would study.
She said that she would buy a Laptop.
They said to him that they would come to know finally.
I said that he would take the test.
FUTURE CONTINUOUS TENSE WILL BE changes into WOULD BE
I said to him, "I shall be visiting you"
She said," I shall be driving "
He said, "I will be studying well"
He said, "I shall not be doing this any longer"
I said to him that I would be visiting him.
She said that she would be driving.
He said that he would be studying well.
She said that he would not be doing that any longer.
FUTURE PERFECT TENSE WILL HAVE changes into WOULD HAVE
He said, "I will have finished this by now"
She said, "they will have reached in time"
He said, "they will have departed"
He said that he would have finished that by then.
She said that they would have passed in time.
He said that they would have departed.

Note: Remember if the reported speech is in the Universal Truth it cannot be converted. It will be used exactly as it is.

Examples

  • He said, “God is one”
    He said that God is one.
  • She said, “Physics is science”
    She said that Physics is science
  • My friend said, “Sun rises in the east”
    My friend said that sun rises in the east.

Since you cannot convert them into past tense.