When we change direct to indirect speech, we usually change the tense of the verbs from the present forms to the past forms. The pronouns are affected too.
Tense of the verbs from the present forms to the past forms.
|Simple present||Simple past|
|"I am homesick."||She told me that she was homesick.|
|Present continuous||Past continuous|
|"I am enjoying myself."||He told us he was enjoying himself.|
|Present perfect||Past perfect|
|"I have taken many photos."||She said that she had taken many photos.|
|Present perfect continuous.||Past perfect continuous|
|"I have been having a wonderful time."||He said that he had been having a wonderful time.|
|Simple past||Past perfect|
|"I ate the whole piece."||He said that he had eaten the whole piece.|
|Past continuous||Past perfect continuous|
|"I was dreaming about you."||She told him she had been dreaming about him.|
|Simple future||Future in the past|
|"I shall never forget you."||He told me that he would never forget me.|
Pronouns from first and second persons to third person.
|Direct speech - first/second person||Indirect speech - third person|
|"I have cut my finger."||He said that he had cut his finger.|
|"You have to get ready to leave."||He told them that they had to get ready to leave.|
Sometimes, the direct speech that we want to report comes in more than one sentence.
In most cases, when the reporting verb is in the present or future tense, we do not change the tenses of the verbs in the indirect speech.
If in direct speech, a statement is always true or an action is still continuing, we do not change the tense when converting it into indirect speech, as a change of tense might give the wrong meaning.