Normalement, dans le discours rapporté il faut reculer d’un temps par rapport au discours direct :
She said, "I am tired." = She said that she was tired.
|Phrase en discours direct||Équivalent en discours rapporté|
|Présent simple||Passé simple|
|"I always drink coffee", she said||She said that she always drank coffee.|
|Présent progressif||Passé progressif|
|"I am reading a book", he explained.||He explained that he was reading a book|
|Passé simple||Passé parfait|
|"Bill arrived on Saturday", he said.||He said that Bill had arrived on Saturday.|
|Présent parfait||Passé parfait|
|"I have been to Spain", he told me.||He told me that he had been to Spain.|
|Passé parfait||Passé parfait|
|"I had just turned out the light," he explained.||He explained that he had just turned out the light.|
|Présent parfait progressif||Passé parfait progressif|
|They complained, "We have been waiting for hours".||They complained that they had been waiting for hours.|
|Passé progressif||Passé parfait progressif|
|"We were living in Paris", they told me.||They told me that they had been living in Paris.|
|Future simple||Conditionnel présent|
|"I will be in Geneva on Monday", he said.||He said that he would be in Geneva on Monday.|
|Futur progressif||Conditionnel progressif|
|She said, "I'll be using the car next Friday".||She said that she would be using the car next Friday.|
Il n'est pas nécessaire de changer de temps si le verbe rapporté est au présent ou si la déclaration initiale concernait quelque chose qui s’applique toujours, par exemple:
- 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.
Ces verbes modaux ne changent pas dans le discours rapporté : 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.