Direct and Indirect of Simple Past Tense
Direct and Indirect of Simple Past Tense


We talked about direct and indirect speech of present tenses. We learned how to convey a message of present tenses to someone. In the article below we are going to elaborate direct and indirect of simple past tense. You will learn how to transmit a message what someone said, thought or felt in simple past tense.

For direct and indirect speech complete rules click: Direct and indirect speech complete rules

Direct and Indirect of Simple Past Tense

Tense Chang:
As a rule, when we convey a message from direct speech we go one tense back, therefore when we convey a message from simple past tense, we change the tense into past perfect tense.

Affirmatives

  • Direct speech: RP +, + S + V2 + ROTS
    He said to him, “I went to Texas yesterday.”
  • Indirect speech: RP + that + S + had + V3 + ROTS
    He told him that he had come to Texas the day before.

With to be verbs

  • Direct speech: RP +, + S + be2 + ROTS
    He said, “I was angry this morning.”
  • Indirect speech: RP + that +S + had been + ROTS
    He told me that he had been angry that morning.

Negatives

  • Direct speech: RP +, + S + did not + V1 + ROTS
    He said to his wife, “We didn`t clean the kitchen properly this morning.”
  • Indirect speech: RP + that + S + had not + V3 + ROTS
    He told his wife that they hadn’t cleaned the kitchen properly that morning.

Interrogatives

  • Direct speech: RP +, + did + S + V1 + ROTS
    She asked, “Did you buy the lap top for me?”
  • Indirect speech: RP + if + had + V3 + ROTS
    She asked me if I had bought the lap top for her.

Negative interrogatives

  • Direct speech: RP +, + Did not + S + V1 + ROTS
    He asked, “Didn’t you sleep well last night?”
  • Indirect speech: RP + if + had not + V3 + ROTS
    He asked me if I hadn’t slept well the night before.

WH/Information question

  • Direct speech: RP +, + WH + did + S + V1 + ROTS
    He asked, “When did she start learning English at Learn ESL?”
  • Indirect speech: RP + WH + S + had + V3 + ROTS
    He wanted to know when she had started learning English at Learn ESL.