Hi teachers,

I have found different possibilities to change the verb 'shall' in direct speech to indirect speech.

Which one is right?

He said, "I shall study English tonight."
First of all the time marker 'tonight' or any other that indicates future is absolutely necessary in the sentence?

Are all these reported speech sentences right?
a) He said (that) he should study English tonight.
b) He said (that) he could study English tonight.
c) He said (that) he would study English tonight.

Thanks in advance
1 2
Point #1: No lving person I know uses 'shall' in first person affirmative or negative statements.
Point #2: In a reported speech exercise, the past of 'shall' is 'should', not 'could' or 'would'.
Point #3: In a reported speech exercise, 'tonight' is backshifted to 'that night'.
Mister MicawberPoint #1: No living person I know uses 'shall' in first person affirmative or negative statements.
British people do, don't they?
For example:
Shall I go out tonight?
Shall we go out tonight?
What shall I/we do tonight?

All of them are questions. That's why we can use 'shall'?
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I founf this web page where there is a sentence with 'I shall ...'

Yes, for questions it's common; not for statements, in spite of the fact that you will still see it included in grammar sites.
Thinking SpainHe said, "I shall/will study English tonight."
Shall is possible and actually even used to some extent in British English even though it is becoming increasingly less common. In the first person it indicates no compulsion and therefore you cannot change it to should in reported speech. As MrM says, tonight would be that night in an exercise.

He said [that] he would study English that night.

In real life that wouldn't happen if all this happened on the same day. You couldn't say that night if you were reporting today what someone said to you today. You would have to say tonight. This only goes to prove that all rules concerning indirect speech can be forgotten. Everybody uses reported speech naturally in their native language. The same is true about all other languages.

He said [that] would study English tonight.

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That is also quite an explanation Cool Breeze. Rules! I guess some of them are made to be broken.Emotion: angry

Thank you very much!
Thank you very much for your help Mister Micawber!
Hi Guys!

I'm an English teacher. So, three points.

First. Your sentences are grammatically correct, just a little out of date for most people. This is perfectly acceptable for an EFL student, but it will not help you in the IELTS. The reported speech link given is good. Reported speech does not have to include modal verbs. Practice in the written and spoken form as much as possible.

Second. Check modal verb use. Each modal verb shows something about the action. Each one is different: would, could, should, will, can, must, might, shall (meaning 'possiblity', polite and formal) ought to (meaning a 'duty', polite and formal)

Third. The modal verb 'shall', like 'ought to', is not commonly used today. Languages change through time. Both 'Shall' and 'ought to' are now considered very polite and formal. 'Shall' is usually used in question form: Shall we go to dinner? Yes, we ought to, it's getting late / No, I shan't be going to dinner tonight. You go on without me.

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