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Thread: indirect speech

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    indirect speech

    Do we change had to in indirect speech?
    Tom said, "I had to go there."
    Do we change it to had had to or no?

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    Re: indirect speech

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    I am 80% sure that you are correct.

    Tom said, "I had to go there."

    Tom said that he had had to go there.

    I believe that since "had had" may sound "funny" or "strange," many native speakers prefer to use a contraction:

    Tom said that he'd had to go there.


    Here is a real-life example that I found on the Web. It seems that a few years ago, a certain group of people were forced to leave

    a certain country. An important government official is then quoted in indirect and direct speech in the headline:

    He said it was unacceptable that they [that certain group] had had to leave "because the majority population in the area so


    I am guessing that the government official's direct words may have been: "It is unacceptable that they had to leave because ...."

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