Normalt er tiden i indirekte tale et trin tilbage i tiden i forhold til direkte tale:
She said, "I am tired." = She said that she was tired.
|Sætning i direkte tale||Tilsvarende sætning i indirekte tale|
|"I always drink coffee", she said||She said that she always drank coffee.|
|Imperfektiv nutid||Imperfektiv datid|
|"I am reading a book", he explained.||He explained that he was reading a book|
|"Bill arrived on Saturday", he said.||He said that Bill had arrived on Saturday.|
|"I have been to Spain", he told me.||He told me that he had been to Spain.|
|"I had just turned out the light," he explained.||He explained that he had just turned out the light.|
|Imperfektiv førnutid||Imperfektiv førdatid|
|They complained, "We have been waiting for hours".||They complained that they had been waiting for hours.|
|Imperfektiv datid||Imperfektiv førdatid|
|"We were living in Paris", they told me.||They told me that they had been living in Paris.|
|"I will be in Geneva on Monday", he said.||He said that he would be in Geneva on Monday.|
|Fremtid konditionalis||Imperfektiv konditionalis|
|She said, "I'll be using the car next Friday".||She said that she would be using the car next Friday.|
Du behøver ikke ændre udsagnsordets tid, hvis det står i nutid, eller hvis den oprindelige udtalelse handlede om noget, der stadig er gyldigt fx
- He says he has missed the train but he'll catch the next one.
- We explained that it is very difficult to find our house.
Disse mådesudsagnsord ændres ikke i indirekte tale: might, could, would, should, ought to:
- We explained, "It could be difficult to find our house." = We explained that it could be difficult to find our house.
- She said, "I might bring a friend to the party." = She said that she might bring a friend to the party.