Backshifting rules Quoted speech - direct Present simple “I am in POA.” "I live in Porto Alegre.

" Present Continuous to be (am/are/is)+verb+ing "I am studying English." Simple Past “I was tired yesterday.” "I went out yesterday." Present Perfect have/has+participle "I have been to Paris twice." Past Perfect had+participle Reported speech - indirect Simple Past He said that he was in POA. He said that he lived in Porto Alegre. Past Continuous to be (was/were)+verb+ing She said that she was studying English. Past Perfect had+participle (3rd column) She said she had been tired the day before. She said that she had gone out the day before. had+participle He said that he had been to Paris twice. had+participle IT DOES NOT CHANGE He said that by 6 p.m. he had already finished all the paperwork. Past Perfect Continuous had+been+verb+ing She said she had been doing her chores. had+been+verb+ing She said she had been singing for 10 years. had+been+verb+ing IT DOES NOT CHANGE

"By 6 p.m. I had already finished all the paperwork." Past Continuous to be (was/were)+verb+ing “I was doing my chores.” Present Perfect Continuous have/has+been+verb+ing “I have been singing for 10 years.” Past Perfect Continuous had+been+verb+ing

“She had been waiting for that phone call for a very long He said she had been waiting for that phone call time.” for a very long time. Will will+verb /// will be+verb+ing Would would+verb /// would be+verb+ing

"I will do my homework." “I will be visiting my friends in China and Japan.” To be going to (pres) am/are/is going to + verb

She said that she would do her homework. He said that he would be visiting his friends in China and Japan. To be going to (past) was/were going to + verb

“I am going to eat out tomorrow.” Can can+verb “I can’t go out.” Could could+verb “I could come in earlier.” To be able to (pres) am/are/is able to+verb “She is not able to speak.” May (possibility) may+verb “I may never find him.” May (permission) may+verb “May I come in?” Would would+verb “I would like some ice cream.” Might might+verb “I might go to the party.” Must (present) must+verb “We must hurry up.” Must (future) must+verb

She said that she was going to eat out the next day. Could could+verb She said that she couldn’t go out. Could could+verb IT DOES NOT CHANGE He said that he could come in earlier. To be able to (past) was/were able to+verb He said that she was not able to speak. Might might+verb

She said that she might never find him. Could could+verb She asked if she could come in. Would would+verb IT DOES NOT CHANGE She said that she would like some ice cream. Might might+verb IT DOES NOT CHANGE He said that he might go to the party. Had to had to+verb She said that we had to hurry up. Would have to would have to+verb

“I must leave for the United States next week.” He said that he would have to leave for the United -------States the following week. Must (as a rule that always applies) must+verb Must must+verb IT DOES NOT CHANGE

Grandma said: “children must obey their parents.” Grandma said that children must obey their -------parents. To have to have/had to + verb Had to had to+verb She said that she had to go soon.

“I have to go soon.”

Should should+verb “You should leave.” Ought to ought to+verb “You ought to see this movie.” Shall (future) shall+verb “I shall be free.” Shall (ask for advice) shall+verb “Shall I wear this shirt?”

Should should+verb IT DOES NOT CHANGE She said that he should leave. Ought to ought to+verb IT DOES NOT CHANGE She said that he ought to see that movie. Would would+verb He said that he would be free. Should should+verb He asked if he should wear that shirt.

If the reporting verb is in the past, then the verb in the reported clause will usually be in a past form. “I drink tea every day”. She said that she drank tea every day. If the reporting verb is in the following tenses, the reported clause verb is usually not changed (no backshift required). Simple Present or Present Perfect: She says/has said that she drinks tea every day. Simple Future or Going to Future: She will say/is going to say that she drinks tea every day. ***Exceptions: If the reported sentence states a fact or general truth, the present tense can be maintained even though the reporting verb is in the past. He said that gravity pulls objects towards the centre of the Earth. If the speaker reports something soon after it was said, the reported clause verb frequently remains as it was. “The next flight is at 10 p.m.” She said that the next flight is at 10 p.m. Backshift of simple past is optional if the situation is unchanged or if you agree with the original speaker. She said that Australia is/was beautiful. Simple Past and Past Continuous don’t usually change in sentences with when/if. “When I was driving to school, I got pulled over.”

He said that when he was driving to school, he got pulled over. “If I had enough money, I would travel to Thailand.” She said (that) if she had enough money, she would travel to Thailand. Simple Past and Past Continuous don’t normally need to be changed if: there is a time context to make things clear; there is another action already reported in the past perfect (because it might alter the meaning of the sentence or make it confusing); or we see the events from the same viewpoint as the original speaker.

Expressions that denote time and place also have to be changed:
now today tonight tomorrow yesterday this/these ago next month/year last month/year the month/year before, the previous month/year, the preceding month/year in two days/ weeks here
Reported questions: When reporting questions, they have to be transformed into indirect questions. The subject must come before the verb. She asked: “Why are you angry?” She asked me why I was angry. If reporting yes/no questions, the reported clause is introduced by if/whether. “Do you like studying?” She asked me if/whether I liked studying.

then, at that time yesterday (24hrs), that day last night (24hrs), that night the following day, the next day, the day after the previous day, the day before that/those before, previously, earlier the following month/year, the next month/year, the month/year after, that month/year

two days/weeks from then there

When reporting questions using question words (why, where, when, what, who, how), the reported clause is introduced by the same question word. “How long have you lived in the UK?” He asked her how long she had lived in the UK. Reported requests: The basic rule for indirect requests is: reporting clause + infinitive. Besides ask, others verbs like beg can be used. In the case of request, it can follow the rule above or be used with the subjunctive mood. “Please help me!” He asked/begged/requested her to help him. He requested that she help him. * “Would you mind arriving early tomorrow?”** “Can/could you arrive early tomorrow?”** She asked me to arrive early the next day. * Subjunctive mood ** These are questions that can be interpreted as requests. If one wanted, said questions could be reported as indirect questions Negative request: The rule to report a negative request is reporting clause + not + infinitive “Please don’t smoke in the house.” He asked me not to smoke in the house. Reported Orders or Instructions: The rule for reported orders is the same used for reported requests: reporting clause + infinitive. Besides tell, other verbs like order or command can be used. For instructions, instruct and direct are the most common choices. “Sit down!” He told/commanded/ordered me to sit down. “Turn left!” He instructed/directed us to turn left. Negative imperative Reporting clause + not + infinitive

ü“Don’t be lazy!” She ordered/told/commanded me not to be lazy. ü“Don’t go near the window. It’s dangerous.” He warned me not to go near the window as it was dangerous.