Topic

Tense Changes

Topic Progress:

Because we usually report about something later, we usually change the verb tense:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
present simple
‘I play football,’  said Claire.
→ past simple
Claire said (that) she played football.
present continuous
‘I am playing football,’ said Claire.
→ past continuous
Claire said (that) she was playing football.
past simple
‘I played football,’ said Claire.
→ past perfect
Claire said (that) she had played football.
past perfect
‘I had played football,’ said Claire.
→ past perfect
Claire said (that) she had played football.
am going to
‘I am going to play football,’ said Claire.
→ was going to
Claire said (that) she was going to play football.
will
‘I will play football,’ said Claire.
→ would
Claire said (that) she would play football.
can
‘I can play football,’ said Claire.
→ could
Claire said (that) she could play football.
may
‘I may play football,’ said Claire.
→ might
Claire said (that) she might play football.
must
‘I must play football,’ said Claire.
→ had to / must (less common) 
Claire said (that) she had to / must play football

These verbs stay the same:

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
could
‘I could play football,’ said Claire.
→ could
Claire said (that) she could play football.
should
‘I should play football,’ said Claire.
→ should
Claire said (that) she should play football.
might
‘I might football,’ said Claire.
→ might
Claire said (that) she might play football.
ought to
‘I ought to play football,’ said Claire.
→ ought to
Claire said ought to play football.
used to
‘I used to play football,’ said Claire.
→ used to
Claire said (that) she used to play football.

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