Study this example situation:
You want to tell someone else what Tom said.
There are two ways of doing this:
You can repeat Tom’s words (direct speech)
Tom said, “I’m feeling sick.”
Or you can use reported speech:
Tom said (that) he was feeling sick.
Compare the two sentences:
Direct Tom said, “I am feeling sick.”
Reported Tom said (that) he was feeling sick.
When we use reported speech, we are usually talking about the past. So verbs usually change to the past in reported speech. For example:
Am/is —* was have/has —* had can —* could
Are — were will —+ would do/want/know —* did/wanted/knew, etc.
Study these examples you met Tom Here are some things he said to you:
My parents are very well.
I am going to quite my job.
Ann has bought a new car.
I can’t come to the party on Friday.
I want to go on vacation but I don’t know where to go.
I’m going away for a few days. I’ll call you when I get back.
Now you tell someone else what Tom said (in reported speech):
• Tom said (that) his parents were very well.
• Tom said (that) he was going to quit his job.
• Tom said (that) Ann had bought a new car.
• Tom said (that) he couldn’t come to the party on Friday.
• Tom said (that) he wanted to go on vacation, but he didn’t know where to go.
• Tom said (that) he was going, away for a few days and would call me when got back.
The simple past (I did) can usually stay the same in reported speech, or you can change it to the past perfect (I had done): did — did or had done
Direct Tom said “I woke up feeling sick and so I stayed in bed.”
Reported Tom said (that) he woke (or had woken) up feeling sick and so he stayed ( in bed.