Reported speech case:

He said I would do it

Direct speech:

He said, "I will do it."

My sentence:

He thought that he WILL / WOULD do it tomorrow


In my sentence should I use 'would' verb (because the case is equal to reported speech)?


I should leave 'will' verb because the case is completely different to reported speech case

2 Answers 2


You can use either

He thought he would
He thought he will

it depends on what you want to say and mood to be.

  • He thought he will do it. ? Buzzer.
    – Lambie
    Commented Oct 14, 2022 at 16:35
  • "Will" is just about possible, if you are referring to a past opinion of present events, but "would" is still more natural. I might use "will" in special cases where past and present are combined, such as "He said that he will be there, but now he's not so sure" but not otherwise. Using "would" is probably the best rule for a learner.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 26, 2023 at 10:21

In the reported speech, you are describing, the speech from your point of view. Since the person who is going to "do it" is "him" you do need to say

He said (that) he ...

After that there is possibility of backshifting. If you are certain that the action is still in the future you probably would not backshift:

The dog needs to go for a walk who can do that?

John said that he will do it.

If you want to indicate that you don't know if action is still in the future, you can use would:

Has anyone walked the dog yet?

John said that he would do it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .