Direct and Indirect of Modal Auxiliaries
Direct and Indirect of Modal Auxiliaries

We talked about direct and indirect of present tense, past tense and future tenses. In the lesson below I cover direct and indirect of modal auxiliaries. You will learn how to convey a message when you have modal auxiliary verbs in your indirect speech sentences. Direct and indirect structure of sentences for most used and common modal verbs. For direct and indirect speech complete rules click: Direct and indirect speech complete rules

Direct and Indirect of Modal Auxiliaries

Can: Can changes to could.

  • Direct speech: He said, “I can speak five languages.”
  • Indirect speech: He told me that he could speak five languages.

May: May changes to might.

  • Direct speech: She said, “I may buy a new TV today.”
  • Indirect speech: She told me that she might buy a new TV that day.

Will: Will changes to would.

  • Direct speech: They said, “We will meet you tomorrow.”
  • Indirect speech: They told me that they would meet me the next day.

Shall: Shall changes to should.

  • Direct speech: He said, “I shall do my homework.”
  • Indirect speech: He said that he should do his homework.

Have to and Has to: Have to and Has to Change to had to.

  • Direct speech: She said, “My brother has to hit the books.”
  • Indirect speech: She told me that her brother had to hit the books.
  • Direct speech: He said, “I have to keep up with my classmates.”
  • Indirect speech: He said to me that he had to keep up with his classmates.

Must: Must changes to had to.

  • Direct speech: My teacher said to me, “You must be on time to class.
  • Indirect speech: My teacher told me that I had to be on time to class.

Could: Could remains could.

  • Direct speech: He said, “I couldn`t speak English a few years ago.”
  • Indirect speech: He told me that he couldn`t speak English a few years back.

Might: Might remains might.

  • Direct speech: They said to him, “We might fire your brother.”
  • Indirect speech: They told him that they might fire his brother.”

Would: Would Remains would.

  • Direct speech: He said, “You would not keep up with them.”
  • Indirect speech: He told me that I would not keep up with them.

Should: Should remains should.

  • Direct speech: He said, “I should study hard.”
  • Indirect speech: He said to me that he should study hard.

Ought to: Ought to remains ought to.

  • Direct speech: She said to me, “You ought to close the gate.”
  • Indirect speech: She reminded me that I ought to close the gate.