|1. Past Reporting Verbs (He said he didn't like driving.)|
In reporting what someone said, it's common to use different tenses.
Jen (Monday morning): I can't join you tonight. I have to go home early.
Lisa (Monday evening): Jen said she couldn't join us tonight. She had to go home early.
|2. Typical Tense Change After Past Reporting Verbs|
Will to would; simple present to simple past; present progressive to past progressive; present perfect to past perfect; past to past perfect; can to could; may to might
|But past perfect tense usually do not change.|
|3. Past Modal Modal Verbs Remain Unchanged (would, could, etc.)|
In indirect speech, past modal verbs do not change.
Direct: It would be nice if we could go somewhere.
Indirect: She said it would be nice if we could go somewhere.
|4. I told them I was a reporter|
The original tenses are usually change even if what the speaker said remains true after past reporting verbs.
Direct: I'm a reporter.
Indirect: I told them I was a reporter.
Direct: I can drop Shaun to school tomorrow.
Indirect: He said he could drop Shaun to school tomorrow.
|5. He says, I'll tell her, etc.|
Tenses remains the same after present, future and present perfect reporting verbs.
Direct: I don't want to stay here.
Indirect: He says he doesn't want to stay here.
Direct: We need to tidy up the room.
Indirect: I'll tell them you need to tidy up the room.