Time Markers and Pronouns

Change of Pronouns

If you want to transform direct speech into reported speech, you have to change all pronouns. Pronouns are words like I, you, he, she, it, my, your, their and so on.
Lisa: "Can I borrow your pen? I left my pen at home." Lisa asked Tim whether she could borrow his pencil. She said she had left her pen at home.

Change of Time Markers

If the direct speech contains a time marker you have to be careful. If it is a concrete point in time, for example a date or a year ("October 11th" or "In 1999") nothing changes. But if it is a time marker that depends on the speaker's point of view, you have to change it. Such time markers are for example: today, tomorrow, last week, next Sunday.
  • now then, at that time
  • today that day
  • yesterday the day before
  • (a week) ago (a week) before
  • tomorrow the following/next day
Anne: "I met my uncle on the street yesterday." Anne told me she had met her uncle on the street the day before.
Jason: "I am going on a trip to Egypt next month." Jason said he was going on a trip to Egypt the following month.
Now try out the exercise and choose the correct answer!
 
 
  1. Tim: "Which one is yours?"
     
    • Tim asked me which one was mine.
       
    • Tim asked me which one was his.
       
    • Tim asked me which one was yours.
       
     
  2. Zoe: "I want to go to the pool tomorrow."
     
    • Zoe said she wanted to go to the pool the next day.
       
    • Zoe said she wanted to go to school tomorrow.
       
    • Zoe said she wanted to go the pool yesterday.
       
     
  3. Lisa: "This is my boyfriend."
     
    • Lisa says that this is her boyfriend.
       
    • Lisa says that this is my boyfriend.
       
    • Lisa says that this is his boyfriend.
       
     
  4. John: "Did you go to school yesterday, Leon?"
     
    • John asked Leon whether he had gone to school the day before.
       
    • John asked Leon whether he had gone to school yesterday.
       
    • John asked Leon whether he had gone to school last week.
       
     
  5. Ben: "I like your shoes."
     
    • Ben says he likes his shoes.
       
    • Ben says he likes my shoes.
       
    • Ben says I like his shoes.
       
     
 
 
 
 

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