Narration Rules of Tense

When we transform from direct to indirect, we have to change tense and here is the 12 tenses rules & example for narration. Let’s start to learn narration rules of tense.

Narration Rules & Examples of Present Tense
SL Tense Direct Speech       Indirect  Speech
1 Tense Simple present/ Present Indefinite Simple past/ Past Indefinite
Example “I always drink coffee”, she said.       She said that she always drank coffee.
2 Tense Present continuous             Past continuous
Example “I am reading a book”, he explained.   He explained that he was reading a book
3 Tense Present perfect   Past perfect
Example “I have gone to Spain”, he told me. He told me that he had gone to Spain.
4 Tense Present perfect continuous               Past perfect continuous
EXample They complained, “We have been waiting for hours”. They complained that they had been waiting for hours.

Narration Rules & Examples of Past Tense

5 Tense Simple past/ Past Indefinite               Past perfect
Example “Bill arrived on Saturday”, he said.   He said that Bill had arrived on Saturday.
6 Tense Past continuous   Past perfect continuous
Example “We were living in Paris”, they told me.       They told me that they had been living in Paris.
7 Tense Past perfect          Past perfect
Example “I had just turned out the light,” he explained.           He explained that he had just turned out the light.
8 Tense Past Perfect Continuous Past Perfect Continuous
Example I said to Keyamony, “I had been living in Saudi Arabia” I told Keyamony that I had been living in Saudi Arabia.


Narration Rules & Examples of Future Tense

9 Tense Future Indefinite –shall/ will should/would
Example “I will do this on Monday”, he said.   He said that he would do this on Monday.
10 Tense Future continuous               Conditional continuous
Example She said, “I’ll be using the car next Friday”. She said that she would be using the car next Friday.
11 Tense Future perfect      Conditional continuous
Example She said to Hassan, “I‘ll have visited this month”.                       She told Hassan that she would have visited that month.
12 Tense Future perfect continuous                 Conditional continuous
Example Hassan said to Ayat, “I’ll have been studying this subject until next month”.   Hassan told Ayat that he (Hassan) would have been studying this subject until the following month.

Now Your Turn: Change the following speech


  1. He said to me, “I write a letter.”
  2. Sonia said to me, “You are writing a letter”.
  3. Sohana said to me, “They have done their duty”.
  4. Romel said to me, “I have been reading”.


  1. Halima said to him, “I met you yesterday”.
  2. Badhon said to her, “You were going to Dhaka”.
  3. Bakiya said to her brother, “He had done”.
  4. Suchona said to me, “I had been waiting for you”.


  1. Any said to me, “I will do this math”.
  2. Mumtahena said to me, “You will be doing math”.
  3. Maha said to me, “I will have read”.
  4. Sorna said to you, “He will have been doing”.
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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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