Les temps des verbes pour le discours rapporté

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.