Changes in Modal Auxiliary Verbs with Examples


In narration change auxiliary verbs are used in reported clause. This kind of verb is used along with a main or primary verb.   Auxiliary verbs helps the main verb to express tense, moods and instruction, intention of the speaker. That is why auxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs.

In English grammar auxiliary verbs are devided in two parts – 1. Primary auxiliary verb. 2. Modal auxiliary verb. We are going to learn how these verbs are used in narration change.

Primary Auxiliary Verb

The three most commonly used primary auxiliary verbs are – be verb, have verb, do verb.

Present tensePast tense


Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
Rekha said, “We are going to picnic.”Rekha said that they were going to picnic.
Batman said, “I have the ability to fly.”Batman that he had the ability to fly.
Mother said, “I do the most of the works.” Mother said that she did the most of the works. 

Modal Auxiliary Verb

Modal auxiliary verbs are –

Can, could, will/shall, should/would, must/had to, ought to etc.  


Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
I said, “I will be late today.”I said that I would be late that day.
The woman asked me, “Can I help you?”The woman asked me if she could help me.
The man said to him, “You must read the instructions carefully.”The man told him that he must read the instructions carefully.  
The man asked the boy, “Would you help me to cross the road?”The man asked the boy if he would help him to cross the road.