I told him that I will be there at three o'clock on Friday.

I told him that I would be there at three o'clock on Friday.

I am not sure which sentence is correct in this context: I said this statement just one hour ago. I mean the upcoming Friday. So this is not the case of the future in the past. Is the change of "will" into "would" applied in reported speech only when the future in the past occurs?

1 Answer 1


If you think that your statement is still true, unchanged, or up to date, backshift is optional. So you can use either will or would; both the sentences are correct grammatically.

  • 2
    In other words, they do have different meanings, the former implies that the statement is still true, and "Friday, three o'clock" is still in the future, and the latter has no such implication. Oct 7, 2015 at 21:02
  • Victor Bazarov, You are right; I think I should edit my answer accordingly.
    – Khan
    Oct 7, 2015 at 21:31

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