Narration rules of modal auxiliary verb

When we transform from direct to indirect, we have to change tense and here is the 12 tense rules & example for narration. Here we also give narration rules of the modal auxiliary verb with examples.

Note-1: Modal auxiliary verb: can, may, shall, will

SL Direct Speech Indirect Speech
1 Tense can could
Example She said to me, “I can do it” She told me that she could do it.
2 Tense May Might
Example He said to himself, “It may rain today.” He told himself that it might rain that day.
3 Tense shall should
Example I said to him, “I shall do it” I told him that I should do it.
4 Tense will would
Example Labiba said to Kotha, “I will meet you.” Labiba told Kotha that she would meet her.

Note-2: Modal auxiliary verb: should, would, could, might

5 Tense Should should
Example I said to Sakil, “You should not do it” I said to Sakil that  he should not do that.
6 Tense Would would
Example I told him, “It would have been great if you had visited us” I told him that that would have been great if you had visited us.
17 Tense Might might
Example Payel said to Borsha, “This might be done by you.” Payel told Borsha that this might be done by her(Borsha).
8 Tense Could Could
Example He said to her, “I could do that” He told that her he could do that.


Note-3: Modal auxiliary verb: must
9 Tense Must must
Example Mother said to me, “You must respect you teachers” Mother told me that I must respect my teachers.
10 Tense Must Had to
Example Father said to me, “You must clean your dress” Father told me that I had to clean my dress.
11 Tense must Would have to
Example I said to my wife, “I must change this house if the owner increase the fare of the house.” I told my wife that I would have to  change this house if the owner increased the fare of the house.


Now Your Turn: Change the following speech


  1. Father said to his son, “You must obey your teacher”
  2. Sangida said, “I must write a letter”.
  3. He said, “We must leave the house if the rent is increased”.


  1. Lubna said, “I am leaving Dhaka this month”.
  2. He said to me, “You may stay here”.
  3. The teacher said to the student, “You can get A+ if you study hard”
  4. She said to him, “I shall come this month”
  5. Tonni said to me, “You will do this work.”


  1. Shompa said to me, “I would go”.
  2. Riya said to me, “You might go”
  3. He said to me, “you had better go”.


  1. He said, “It is time we left the place”.
  2. The girl said, “I wish I sang”.


  1. The teacher said to the students, “You ought to/should/must pay attention to my lecture”.
  2. I said to him, “If I were you, I should wait”.


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Md Sayed Ali

Md Sayed Ali

I am an English Teacher at KGSC, Dhaka. Besides teaching students, I love to work on Digital Marketing, Blogging, Video Editing, Photography & youtube. All of these are my subjects of interest along with I am a freelance web designer and developer with WordPress. I am a business-minded person and very quick to learn and deliver with honesty and dedication.
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