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According to the rule, 'today' changes to 'that day' in direct-indirect speech conversion.

For example,

"Sharon must go to the bank today', said Albert."

should be changed into

'Albert said that Sharon had to go to the bank that day.'

However, considering no time lag, wouldn't the phrase

'Albert said that Sharon had to go to the bank today'

also be correct?

  • "Today" was being used deictically; it referred to the day of Albert's utterance, and not some subsequent day. Using "today" in the report implies that the requirement for Sharon to go the bank still holds at the time of the report, which will be true if the report is made on the same today as Albert's utterance. If a later day, then "today" must be changed to take account of that. – BillJ Sep 9 '16 at 14:30
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If the speech is being reported on the same day it was originally declared, then today is used, not that day:

Albert said that Sharon had to go to the bank today.

If it's the next day, you can report it as yesterday:

Albert said that Sharon had to go to the bank yesterday.

The reporter simply uses any time designation that correctly reports the situation from his or her point of view. Thus the reporter could refer to the original (to)day by anything that refers to that day:

three days ago

last Tuesday

three months ago last Friday

Friday of last week

707 days ago

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