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1. Past Simple and Past Continuous in time clauses do not normally change. The verb in the main clause can either remain unchanged or become the past perfect:

He said, ‘When I was living/lived with my friend I cleaned the flat. He said that when he was living/lived with his friend he usually cleaned/had usually cleaned the flat.

2. A past tense used to describe a state of affairs which still exists when the speech is reported remains unchanged.

She said, ‘I decided not to buy the house because it was in the industrial area. She said she had decided not to buy the house because it was in the industrial area.

5. Time and place expressions in reported speech

a) Adverbs and adverbial phrases of time and place change as follows:

here there now then/that day;

at once/immediately/right away

today, tonight that day, that night

this week/month, etc. that week/month, etc.

tomorrow the next day, the following day, the day after

next week/month, etc. the next/the following week/month, etc.

the day after tomorrow in two days’ time yesterday the day before, the previous day

the day before yesterday two days before last night the previous night last week/year, etc the previous week/year, etc;

the week/year etc. before a year etc. ago a year before/the previous year

two days/weeks etc. ago two days/weeks etc. before

Also: this/these that/those

come go

herewith, herein, etc. therewith, therein, etc.

b) But if the speech is made and reported on the same day these time changes are not necessary:

At breakfast this morning Dad said, ‘I’ll be late today.’

At breakfast this morning Dad said that he would be late today.

c) Of course it is necessary to make some logical changes if a speech is re- ported one or two days after it was made. On Monday Tom phoned Jane:

I’m returning the day after tomorrow. (i.e. on Wednesday)

If Jane reports his words on Tuesday she will say:

Tom said he was returning tomorrow.

If she reports them on Wednesday she will say:

Tom said he was returning today.

d) here becomes there only when it is clear what place is meant:

When they were leaving the library he said, ‘I’ll be here again tomorrow.’

When they were leaving the library he said that he would be there again the next day.

But usually here has to be replaced by some phrase:

She opened the door and said to the dog, ‘Stay here!’

She opened the door and ordered the dog to stay beside the door.

Mother said, ‘Come here, children’.

Mother called the children.

6. Modals in reported speech

a) can, shall, will and may become could, should, would and might in reported speech.

I can speak four languages.’ He said he could speak four languages. ‘I may be able to go.’ He said he might be able to go.

I shall be late.’ I just said that I should be late. He said he would be late.

I will do it.’ He said he would do that. b) might used to express possibility remains unchanged: She said, ‘I might come to the party.’

She said that she might come to the party.

But if might is used as a request form it should be replaced:

You might be more polite.’ She asked him to be more polite.

c) ought to/should for obligation and assumption remains unchanged: ‘They ought to/should improve the working conditions.’

I said that they ought to/should improve the working conditions.

But you ought to/you should and you must, if used to express advice, can be reported by advise/urge/warn etc. + object + infinitive:

Alice said, ‘You really ought to/should/must see this film.’

Alice advised me to see this film.

The form ‘If I were you I should would…’ is reported by advise + object + infinitive:

If I were you I’d visit this museum.’ He advise me to visit this museum.

d) could for past ability can remain unchanged or be reported by had been able:

‘I could play chess when I was only 4.’

‘He said that he could/had been able to play chess when he was only 4.’

could for permission in the past can remain unchanged or be reported by was/were allowed to or had been allowed to:

She said, ‘When I was a girl I could go to bed as late as I liked.’

She said that when as a girl she could/was allowed/had been allowed etc.

e) must used to express deduction, permanent command/prohibition and intention remains unchanged:

‘He must be taking an exam now.’ She said that he must be taking an exam now.

‘The emergency exit must be kept unlocked.’

He said that the emergency exit must be kept unlocked.

‘We must redecorate the nursery.’ She said that they must redecorate the nursery.

must used for obligation can remain unchanged or be reported by would have to or had to:

‘If the snow doesn’t stop we must (will have to) return,’ said the coach.

The coach said that if the snow didn’t stop we would have to return.

‘You must start working now.’

He said that we must/had to/would have to start working right now.

must not with the 1st person usually remains unchanged; must not with the 2nd and the 3rd persons remains unchanged or is expressed as a negative command:

‘You mustn’t touch the wire.’ He said that I mustn’t touch the wire.

Or He said that I wasn’t to touch the wire. Or He told me not to touch the wire.

f) needn’t usually remains unchanged but can be changed to didn’t have to/ wouldn’t have to:

If you can give me this book I needn’t go to the library.’

I said that if she could give me that book I needn’t/wouldn’t have to go to the library.

You needn’t type these letters.’

The manager said that the secretary needn’t/wouldn’t have to type those letters.

But note that the second sentence can be reported in the following way:

You needn’t type these letters.’

The manager allowed the secretary not to type those letters.

g) need and must in questions normally become had to:

Need I/Must I do the washing up? The girl asked if she had to do the washing up.