In my textbook there's an exercise requiring you to convert direct speech to reported speech. Here are two of the direct sentences:

  1. 'I'll pick you up next time.'

  2. 'Please, give me another chance next time'

Normally, the general rule to do this exercise is to change 'next' to 'the next'. For example, 'next week' => 'the next week'; 'next Monday' => 'the next Monday', e.t.c. However, I wonder if it works when we change 'next time' to 'the next time'. Thank you in advance!

  • You are mixing up two questions.
    – Lambie
    Jan 16 at 1:58

1 Answer 1


Reported speech is when you relate something you or somebody else said without a direct quotation. In contrast to that, direct speech is a precise quotation and in a piece of writing would normally appear in quotation marks, unless it was a first-person narrative that did not require it.

For example:

  • "I'll pick you up next time", I said to him. (Direct)
  • I told him I'd pick him up next time. (Reported)

Only put the article "the" into the reported speech example if the next occasion you referred to at the time has already passed. If that next time still lies in the future you could leave it out.

  • 1
    I presume it's about changing the temporal references - ie. "the next Monday" (from when it was said) rather than "next Monday" (implicitly - from now). Jan 15 at 11:29
  • @MaciejStachowski I still don't get what that has to do with changing direct speech to reported speech. I could use both directly - "I'll call you next Monday" and "I'll call you this Monday because the next Monday I'm busy" are both direct.
    – Astralbee
    Jan 15 at 12:42
  • 1
    I told him I'd pick him up the next time sounds perfectly natural to me. Jan 15 at 12:42
  • It's whether "I'll call you next Monday" turns into "She said she'd call him next Monday" or "She said she'd call him the next Monday". The textbook is probably looking for the latter, just like textbooks teach to (slightly mindlessly, if you ask me) change "tomorrow" to "the day after", etc. Jan 15 at 12:46
  • 2
    If someone weeks ago promised a pickup next Monday, that's not next Monday now, but the next Monday from that day alone. So the the next does help us. Jan 15 at 14:03

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