In a book published by Merriam-Webster, the direct question When is she seeing them again? has been changed to a reported question as following:

He asked when she would be seeing them again.

My question is, why the present continuous in the direct question has been changed to would be + verb/ing in the reported question?


That looks like present continuous, but it is equivalent to "When will she see them
Here is a discussion of "future with present progressive"
Lawless English

  • I went through that but which part answers my question? – M.N Mar 12 '20 at 19:35
  • Your question, as I read it, was why there is a tense change from "present continuous". The tense is not present continuous, but future as explained in that link. If you are asking why a different word is used when changing to reported speech, that is just the way the language works. It is not a tense change. – Jack O'Flaherty Mar 12 '20 at 19:50

In the question : "When is she seeing them again?" , the verb "to see" is used in the present progressive which indicates future plans as in "I'm leaving tomorrow" since the verb "to see" can't be used in that form .

Note : you can't use present progressive with some other verbs such as: "to love , to like , to think ,to feel...etc"

So the question is basically equivalent to "When will she see them again ?" ,and that's why "Would" was used in the reported question since it's the past tense of "Will".

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