1. Direct: he said to me, "he is sick"
  2. Reported: he told me that he was sick.

Supposing that someone told me he is sick. And after sometime i said this to someone using reported speech. Doesn't it make the difference as i would mean he is not sick now as we use past tense? May be he is still sick

  • If you know for a fact that he person still is sick, then you can optionally use the present tense. Dec 18, 2018 at 14:09

1 Answer 1


Reported / indirect speech only tells someone what happened at the time the original person said the sentence.

"he told me that he was sick"
    he spoke it in the past, thus past tense.

As such, it would mean that the person was sick at the moment he told you, since you are simply reporting what he said. It does not reflect whether or not he is still sick at the present moment.

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