Logical changes in reported speech

A reported speech sentence is normally said

Thus, you will very often have to change something more than just grammar. These changes are made in order to preserve the original meaning of the sentence. That is why they are here called logical changes. Quite logical, right?

Whenever the original sentence contains a relative definition of place or time, this will have to be changed. For specific times or places this is not necessary.

So in five minutes is relative and will change, while at 12:55 won't because it's absolute.
In the same way you will have to change personal pronouns, but not names.

Sounds difficult? It is not, as the examples below will show you.

He said (that)...
I will do it.
...he / she would do it.
I will meet you.
...he / she would meet me / you / him / her / us / them.
I will do it here.
... he / she would do it there.
I will start it in two hours.
... he /she would start it two hours later.

As said above, in case of specific information (instead of relative ones) no changes are required. The following sentence contains three specific pieces of information:

Tom will move to Dresden in 2003.

No matter when or where or by whom the sentence is repeated, neither Tom nor Dresden nor 2003 will change. As mentioned above, this is easy. But it is also easily forgotten. So please remember to make changes in the following cases:

Times

in five minutes

five minutes after / later

yesterday

the day before

tomorrow

the next day / the day after

five minutes ago

five minutes before

now

then

Places

here

there

Persons

I

he / she

you

I / me / he / him ...

Modal auxiliaries

will

would

shall

should

can

could

may

might

Please note that depending on the direct speech sentence, many more variants are possible.

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