Table of Contents

Introduction

Changing the time and place of reported clause is necessary while converting the speech. Just like the pronouns, verbs change in relation to tense change, time and place of the reported clause also change depending on the tense. So while converting the directed speech to indirect speech or vice versa, give attention to words like ‘today’, ‘tomorrow’, ‘yesterday’, ‘here, ‘there’, etc. and change the words accordingly. 

Changes of Time 

Direct speech Indirect speech
Today That day
Tonight That night 
Now Then 
Yesterday The day before/the previous day
Last night The night before
Two days ago/the day before yesterdayEarlier /two days before 
Tomorrow         The following day/the next day
The day after tomorrow In two days’ time 
Next year/weekThe following year/week
Last year/weekThe previous year/week 
A year ago The previous year 

If the time, place, names of the days are specifically mentioned instead of using adverbial phrases of time like, no changes should be made.   

Examples

  1. Tom said to Jones, “I was hunting yesterday.”
    Tom said to Jones that he was hunting the previous day.
  2. She said, “I slept well last night.”
    She said that she had slept well the night before.
  3. Mother said to me, “Clean your room now.”
    Mother ordered me to clean my room then
  4. Shraddha said, “I am not going to work today.”
    Shraddha said that she was not going to work that day.
  5. She said to me, “I will be going back home on Monday.”
    She told me that she would be going back home on Monday.   

Changes of Place

Direct speechIndirect speech
Here  There   
This place That place 
These places Those places

Examples

  1. The children said, “We live here.”
    The children said that they lived there.
  2. The guide said to the tourist, “We are going to stop to rest at this place.”
    The guide told the tourists that they were going to stop to rest at that place.’’ 
  3. The epitaph said, “Here lies the one whose name is written in water.”
    The epitaph said that there lay the one whose name was written in the water. 
  4. The exorcist said, “These places are haunted by spirits.”
    The exorcist said that those places were haunted by spirits.