Easy Pace Learning



Lessons and exercises


Direct and Indirect Speech: Sheet 2

When it comes to turning direct speech into indirect you should keep in mind the sequence of tenses, as well as pronouns, adverbs and other parts of the sentence that's being modified.

For example:

Direct: The election is being held today.

Indirect: The Secretary of the Election Committee confirmed that the election was being held that day [or on a specific date].

Verb tenses

The verb tenses are normally changed as follows:

Direct speech Indirect Speech
Present Past
Present perfect Past Perfect
Past Past Perfect
Past perfect No change
Future (shall, will) Secondary future (should, would)
Future perfect (will have) Secondary future perfect (would have)
Conditional No change


Pronouns change as follows:

Direct speech Indirect Speech
I he, she
me him, her
my his, her, the
mine his, hers
we they
us them
our their, the
ours theirs
you they, them
you their, the
yours theirs
this that, the
these those, the

Adverbs and Adjectives

Adverbs and adjectives denoting time and place may have to be changed as follows:

here there
now, at the present time then, at the time
present existing, current
today that day, at the time
tomorrow the day after, the next day
yesterday the day before, the previous day
ago before, earlier