Il tempo dei verbi nel discorso indiretto

Di norma, nel discorso indiretto è necessario retrocedere di un tempo rispetto al tempo del discorso diretto:
She said, "I am tired." = She said that she was tired.

Frase nel discorso diretto Equivalente nel discorso indiretto
Simple present Simple past
"I always drink coffee", she said She said that she always drank coffee.
Present continuous Past continuous
"I am reading a book", he explained. He explained that he was reading a book
Simple past Past perfect
"Bill arrived on Saturday", he said. He said that Bill had arrived on Saturday.
Present perfect Past perfect
"I have been to Spain", he told me. He told me that he had been to Spain.
Past perfect Past perfect
"I had just turned out the light," he explained. He explained that he had just turned out the light.
Present perfect continuous Past perfect continuous
They complained, "We have been waiting for hours". They complained that they had been waiting for hours.
Past continuous Past perfect continuous
"We were living in Paris", they told me. They told me that they had been living in Paris.
Futuro Condizionale presente
"I will be in Geneva on Monday", he said. He said that he would be in Geneva on Monday.
Futuro progressivo Condizionale progressivo
She said, "I'll be using the car next Friday". She said that she would be using the car next Friday.

Non è necessario cambiare il tempo se il verbo che introduce il discorso indiretto è al presente, oppure se la dichiarazione originale tratta un argomento generalmente valido, ad esempio:

  • 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.

 

I verbi modali rimangono invariati nel discorso indiretto: 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.