Modification of verb forms - Free english lesson
Chapter The indirect style (reported speech)


In indirect speech, we must agree the verb tense of the main clause with the verb tense of the subordinate clause (reported speech).

- The main clause is in the present tense → the subordinate clause will be in the present tense :
They say: « We are going to sell our house ».
They say that they are going to sell their house.

- The main clause is in the past tense → the present tense (direct style) becomes past tense :
She told me: « I'm exhausted ».
She told me that she was exhausted.

- The main clause is in the past tense → the future (direct style) becomes future in the past :
You told me: » We'll stay here until Friday ».
You told me you would stay here until Friday.

- The main clause is in the past tense → the present perfect (direct style) becomes past perfect :
She said: « I have lost your email address ».
She told me she had lost our email address.

Remark : not having past form, MUST can be used in the present in a reported speech.


Progress in english with the story of the Lacoste family.
1 episode, 10 questions, 1 correction :