RULES FOR CHANGING THE SPEECH OF A SENTENCE:
STATEMENT (DECLARATIVE) SENTENCE
The common conjunction “that” is used in the indirect speech.
1.All the PRESENT TENSE forms of the main verbs are changed into their corresponding PAST TENSE forms: ‘is’ and ‘am’ become ‘was’; ‘are’ becomes ‘were’; ‘shall’ becomes ‘should’; ‘come’ becomes ‘came’; and so on… e.g.
The girl said, “I like to eat ice-creams.” Direct
[‘like’ – main verb – simple present tense]
The girl said that she like to eat sweets. Indirect
[‘liked’ – main verb – simple PAST]
Note: Even though the reporting verb of the main clause of the Direct Speech sentence is in PAST TENSE, the main verb in the Subordinate Clause is not changed in the Indirect Speech when that Verb expresses a regular habit, a universal truth or a natural occurrence:
He said, “The Sun rises in the East.” Direct
He said that the Sun rises in the East. Indirect
Though the verb ‘said’ is in Past Tense, the verb ‘rises’ in the subordinate clause of the Indirect Speech is not changed because the expression in the actual quoted words is a universal truth.
2.The SIMPLE PAST TENSE form changes into the PAST PERFECT TENSE form.
But the PAST PERFECT TENSE form is not changed; it remains the same in Indirect, too.
[When there is no need to express one action being the first and the other being the second, we keep the ‘simple past tense’ as it is, but when we want to indicate that of the two actions one action happened before another, we use ‘past perfect tense’.]
(a) She said, “I had a dream last night.” Direct
[‘had’ – main verb – simple past]
She said that she had a dream the previous night.” Indirect
[‘had’ – main verb – UNCHANGED]