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Direct and Indirect or Reported Speeches

Adverb Conversion Table-
Direct Speech
Indirect Speech
here after
there after
that day
that night
last night
the previous night
the day before (or)
the previous day
the next day (or)
the following day
last week
the week before (or)
the previous week
next week
the week after (or)
the following week
last month
the month before (or)
the previous month
next month
a month after

Tenses Conversion Table-
Direct Speech
Reported/ Indirect Speech
Simple Present
He said: "I am happy"
Simple Past
He said that he was happy
Present Progressive
He said: "I'm looking for my keys"
Past Progressive
He said that he was looking for his keys
Simple Past
He said: "I visited New York last year" 
Past Perfect Simple
He said that he had visited New York the previous year.
Present Perfect 
He said: " I've lived here for a long time "
Past Perfect 
He said that he had lived there for a long time
Past Perfect 
He said: "They had finished the work when I arrived"
Past Perfect 
He said that they had finished the work when he had arrived"
Past Progressive
He said: "I was playing cricket when the accident occurred"
Past Perfect Progressive
He said that he had been playing cricket when the accident had occurred 
Present Perfect Progressive
He said:"I have been playing cricket for two hours."
Past Perfect Progressive
He said that he had been playing cricket for two hours
Past Perfect Progressive
He said: "I had been reading a newspaper when the light went off"
Past Perfect Progressive
He said that he had been reading a newspaper when the light had gone off
Future Simple (will + verb)
He said: "I will open the door."
Conditional (would + verb)
He said that he would open the door.
Conditional (would + verb)
He said: "I would buy Mercedes if I were rich"
Conditional (would +verb)
He said that he would buy Mercedes if he had been rich"
Note: The tense of reported speech may not change if reported speech is a universal truth though its reporting verb belongs to past tense.
The modal verbs could, should, would, might, needn't, ought to, used to do not normally change.
He said, "She might be right." – He said that she might be right.

Other modal verbs may change as follows

Direct Speech

Indirect Speech


1. They said, “we would apply for a visa”
2. He said, “I would start a business.
3. She said, “I would appear in exam”
1. They said that they would apply for visa.
2. He said that he would start a business.
3. She said that she would appear in the exam.


1. She said, “she could play a piano”
2. They said, “we couldn’t learn the lesson”
3. He said, “I could run faster”
1. She said that she could play a violin.
2. They said they couldn’t learn the lesson.
3. He said that he could run faster.


1. He said, “guests might come”
2. She said, “it might rain”
3. John said, “I might meet him”
1. He said that guest might come.
2. She said that it might rain.
3. John said that he might meet him.


1. He said, “I should avail the opportunity”
2. She said, “I should help a him”
3. They said, “we should take the exam”
1. He said that he should avail the opportunity.
2. She said that she should help him.
3. They said that they should take the exam.

Ought to

1. He said to me, “you ought to wait for him”
2. She said, “I ought to learn method of study”
3. They said, we ought to attend our classes”
1. He said to me that I ought to wait for him.
2. She said that she ought to learn method of study.
3. They said that they ought to attend their classes.

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