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10 Indirect Speech:

Tense Changes

Rumors and Gossip

Focus on Grammar 4
Part X, Unit 26
By Ruth Luman, Gabriele Steiner, and BJ Wells
Copyright © 2006. Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.`
Rumors and Gossip
Have
Mariayousaidheard
that
Really! Viktor the latest
Larisa
the newsaidgossip
that
teacher
No,
toldwhat
Wow! me is it?
that
Yeah, I about
the new
didn’t the new
teacher
give any
students
heard he was had teacher?
given all the
homework.
could eat in
an easy students an A
his class.
teacher. last semester.
Indirect Speech 1
When the reporting verb is in the simple past, the verb
tense in the indirect speech statement often changes.

Direct Speech Indirect Speech

Simple Present  Simple Past

Present Progressive  Past Progressive

Simple Past Tense


 Past Perfect
Present Perfect
 Past Perfect
Examples 1
“The She said
teacher the teacher
is strict.” was strict.

He said
“The teacher the
is giving teacher
everyone an was
A.” giving
everyone
an A.
Examples 2
She said
“Somebody
somebody
put the final
had put the
exam on the
final exam
Internet.”
on the
Internet.

“The teacher
has graded
Joe said the
our
teacher had
grammar
graded our
tests.”
grammar tests.
Change the direct speech
Practice 1 into indirect speech.

Example:
“My friend is helping me study.” She said…
She said her friend was helping her study.

1. “The library is closed.” He said…


He said the library was closed.
closed

2. “We have registered for classes.” They said…


They said they had registered for classes.

3. “She got an A on the test.” You said…


You said she had gotten an A on the test.
Indirect Speech 2

Modals often change in indirect speech.

Direct Speech Indirect Speech

will  would

can  could
may  might
must  had to
Examples 1
“The test He said the
will be test would be
difficult.” difficult.

“You can She said we


use your could use
notes on our notes
the test.” on the test.
Examples 2

“We may
have a She said we
substitute might have a
teacher.” substitute
teacher.

“You must
study hard She said we
for the final had to study
exam.” hard for the
final exam.
Change the direct speech
Practice 2 into indirect speech.

Example:
“You can relax about the exam.” She said…
She said I could relax about the exam.

1. “We’ll help you with your homework.” They said…


They said they would help me with my homework.

2. “Anna must finish her paper.” He said…


He said Anna had to finish her paper.

3. “She may take a different class.” You said…


You said she might take a different class.
Indirect Speech 3
The following modals do not change in indirect
speech: should, could, might, and ought to.

“You She said I


shouldn’t shouldn’t tell
tell this this secret to
secret to anyone.
anyone.”

“You ought
to tell this to ! He said I
ought to tell
a friend.” this to a
friend.
Indirect Speech 4
The following do not change in indirect speech: the
past perfect, the present and past unreal conditional,
and past modals.

“If
“I “I
thought
I had studied,
could I had gotten
have chosen
I would Hesaid
He He
said
said
if he
he hehad
could
thought studied,
have
he had
the
have
helpeasy
gotten
from teacher.”
an A.”
a tutor.” hegotten
wouldthe
chosen help
have from
easygotten
a tutor.
an A.
teacher.
Change the direct speech
Practice 3 into indirect speech.

Example:
“We ought to study some more.” He said…
He said we ought to study some more.

1. “If I knew, I would tell you.” She said…


She said if she knew, she would tell me.

2. “I might have known the test was difficult.” He said…


He said he might have known the test was
difficult.
3. “She had had that teacher before.” We said…
We said she had had that teacher before.
References

Copyright © 2006 Pearson Education and


its licensors. All rights reserved.