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Change the Narration of Universal Truth, Habitual Action, Historical Event/Fact | Reported Speech Habitual Actions

Many of us have confusions regarding the tense of indirect narration which we have discussed previously. 

Now in this article we are going to discuss how to change the narration of Universal Truth, Habitual Actions and Historical Events.

Change the Narration of Universally True Speech, Habitual Action, Historical Event/Fact.

Q. How to change the narration of Universal Truth, Habitual Actions, Historical Events?


When does the tense of reported speech not change in the indirect narration? 

A. If the reported speech is a universal truth or any historical event or a habitual action (a part of the daily routine), then the tense of the indirect speech doesn’t change no matter whatever tense the reporting verb is in.

E.g. –

Indirect Narration of 

Universal Truth

Direct – Mother said, “The sun rises in the east.”

Indirect – Mother said that the sun rises in the east.

Here the reported speech “The sun rises in the east” is used in the indirect speech as it is, without changing the tense though the reporting verb is in past tense (said).

Other examples:–

Direct – The teacher said to us, “Man is mortal.”

Indirect – The teacher told us that Man is mortal.

... man was mortal.

Direct – He said, “The earth moves around the sun.”

Indirect – He said that the earth moves around the sun.

...moved around the sun.

Direct – Mr. Sen said, “Truth wins always.”

Indirect – Mr. Sen said that Truth wins always.

...Truth won always.

Direct – They said, “Honesty is the best policy.”

Indirect – They said that honesty is the best policy.

... honesty was the ... 

Read more: Change the Narration of Different Tenses. Or, How to change the Tense of a Sentence while Changing the Narration.

Indirect Narration of 

Habitual Action

**Habitual actions are those actions that are performed by a person regularly.

For a speech denoting a habitual action, words/phrases like every, daily, once a day, once a week etc. are used in the reported speech.

E.g. –

Direct – Ram said, "We play cricket everyday."

Indirect – Ram said that they play cricket everyday.

...played cricket everyday. ❌

Direct – He said to me, “I go to school everyday.”

Indirect – He told me that he goes to school everyday.

...went to school everyday.

Direct – Mohan said to me, “My grandfather does yoga every morning.”

Indirect – Mohan told me that his grandfather does yoga every morning.

... did yoga every morning.

Direct – She said to the boy, “What do you play every afternoon?”

Indirect – She asked the boy what does he play every afternoon.

... what did he play...

Direct –  I said to them, “I watch movies daily.”

Indirect – I told them that I watch movies daily.

...  I watched...

Direct – She said to me, “He comes here once a day.”

Indirect – she told me that he goes there once a day.

... went there...

Indirect Narration of 

Historical Event

One of the basic rules for changing the narration suggests that - when the reporting verb and the reported speech both are in past tense, then the indirect speech will be in past perfect tense.

But, in case the reported speech is a historical fact, the aforementioned rule is not followed. Rather, the reported speech is written in the indirect as it is.

E.g. –

Direct – Our teacher said, “The French Revolution was started in 1789.”

Indirect – Our teacher said that the French Revolution was started in 1789.

... had been started...

Direct – I said to them, “Mahatma Gandhi died on 30th January, 1948.”

Indirect – I told them that Mahatma Gandhi died on 30th January, 1948.

... had died...

Direct – He said to us, “Srigupta founded the Gupta Dynasty.”

Indirect – He told us that Srigupta Founded the Gupta Dynasty.

... had founded...

Direct – Our teacher said to us, “The Russian Revolution took place in 1917.”

Indirect – Our teacher told us that the Russian Revolution took place in 1917.

... had taken place...

Direct – I said to him, “The English defeated the French in the Battle of Swalley.”

Indirect – I told him that the English Defeated the French in the Battle of Swalley.

... had defeated...

Read more: How to Change the Narration of Different Sentences (Basic Level of Changing the Narration).

Now you know everything about how to change the narration of Universal Truth, Habitual Actions and Historical Events.

Thank you...


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