Class 10 Exam  >  Class 10 Notes  >  English Grammar Advanced  >  Rules for the Change of Tenses: Narration

Rules for the Change of Tenses: Narration | English Grammar Advanced - Class 10 PDF Download

Assertive Sentence

1. If the reporting verb is in the present tense or future tense, the tense of the verbs in the reported speech does not change.

Examples:
(i) Direct : He says, “I am playing.”
Indirect : He says that he is playing.

(ii) Direct : Ahmed will say, “I go to the market.”
Indirect : Ahmed will say that he goes to the market.

(iii) Direct : The boy has said, “Coffee is ready.”
Indirect : The boy has said that coffee is ready. 

(iv) Direct : Mother says, “I am washing clothes.”
Indirect : Mother says that she is washing clothes.

 

2. If the reporting verb is in the past tense, the tenses in the reported speech are changed into the past tense. Look at the following:

Present Indefinite (do/ does)Changes intoPast Indefinite (did)
Present Continuous (is/ are/ am)Changes intoPast Continuous (was/ were)
Present Perfect (has/ have)Changes intoPast Perfect (had)
Past Indefinite (did)Changes intoPast Perfect (had done)
Past Perfect (had done)Changes intoPast Perfect (no change) (had done)
Past ContinuousChanges intoPast Perfect Continuous
shallChanges intoshould
willChanges intowould
mayChanges intomight
canChanges intocould

 

Examples: 

(i) Direct : Father said, “I go to the office.”
 Indirect : Father said that he went to the office. 

(ii) Direct : He said, “Amit does his work.”
 Indirect : He said that Amit did his work.

(iii) Direct : The gardener said, “I am watering plants.”
 Indirect : The gardener said that he was watering plants. 

(iv) Direct : The boy said, “My mother is going to the market.”
Indirect : The boy said that his mother was going to the market. 

(v) Direct : Hari said, “I have lost my pen.”
Indirect : Hari said that he had lost his pen. 

(vi) Direct : The teacher said, “The Principal delivered a speech”.
Indirect : The teacher said that the Principal had delivered a speech. 

(vii) Direct : Joya said,“My friend had broken the window.”
Indirect : Joya said that her friend had broken the window.

(viii) Direct : Ruchi said, “My father was driving a car.”
Indirect : Ruchi said that her father had been driving a car. 

(ix) Direct : Divesh said, “Shobhit can lift this box.”
Indirect : Divesh said that Shobhit could lift that box. 

(x) Direct : He said, “I would help my friend.”
Indirect : He said that he would have helped his friend.

 

3. If the reported speech expresses a universal truth, a habitual action, a historical fact, a geographical fact or a scientific fact, its tense is not changed. These are exceptions to the above rule.

Examples:
 (i) Direct 
: Father said, “The earth revolves round the sun.”
Indirect : Father said that the earth revolves round the sun. 

(ii) Direct : The teacher said, “The sun rises in the east.”
Indirect : The teacher said that the sun rises in the east. 

(iii) Direct : Grandfather said, “I go for a morning walk daily.”
Indirect : Grandfather said that he goes for a morning walk daily. 

(iv) Direct : He said, “Honesty is the best policy.”
Indirect : He said that honesty is the best policy.

 

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FAQs on Rules for the Change of Tenses: Narration - English Grammar Advanced - Class 10

1. What are the rules for changing tenses in narration?
Ans. The rules for changing tenses in narration are as follows: - When narrating an event in the present tense, it is changed to the past tense. - When narrating an event in the past tense, it is changed to the past perfect tense. - When narrating an event in the future tense, it is changed to the conditional tense. - When narrating a universal truth or general statement, it remains in the present tense.
2. Can we change the present tense to the past tense while narrating?
Ans. Yes, when narrating an event that is happening in the present tense, it is changed to the past tense. For example, "I am eating dinner" becomes "I was eating dinner."
3. What tense should be used when narrating a past event?
Ans. When narrating a past event, it should be changed to the past perfect tense. For example, "She goes to the store" becomes "She had gone to the store."
4. How do we change the future tense in narration?
Ans. In narration, the future tense is changed to the conditional tense. For example, "They will buy a car" becomes "They would buy a car."
5. Do we change the tense when narrating universal truths or general statements?
Ans. No, when narrating universal truths or general statements, we do not change the tense. They remain in the present tense. For example, "Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius" remains unchanged in narration.
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