Sequence of Tense in Subordinate Clause

Indirect Discourse

Subordinate clauses in Indirect Discourse take the subjunctive if they were part of the original statement. Since there are only four tenses, and since there are two temporal sequences (primary and secondary, or primary and historical), there are not very many choices. The following tables summarize the fundamental rules.

Verb of SpeakingVerb in the Original Subordinate ClauseSubjunctive Verb in Indirect Discourse
Present or FuturePresent or FuturePresent Subjunctive
 PastPerfect Subjunctive
PastPresent or FutureImperfect Subjunctive
 PastPluPerfect Subjunctive