Tom said the following.

We have to win this game.

Will the subject change in the reported speech?

Tom said to me that they had to win that game.


Tom said to me that we had to win that game.

  • 1
    It simply depends on context. English does not distinguish between inclusive we (you, me and maybe some others) and exclusive we (me and some others). So it all depends on what Tom meant exactly.
    – oerkelens
    Apr 15, 2018 at 13:52

1 Answer 1


It depends entirely on whether or not you were included in Tom's we.

If his we included you then the reported speech should use we; but if his we did not include you then it should use they.

If you are reporting what he said and you are unsure if he had meant to include you, you can phrase it differently.

Tom said to me that "we" had to win that game. But I'm not sure if he was talking about me too.

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