Suppose a person has told me this:

I will go home.

I want to report what he told me to someone else, but I don’t know whether the condition is still true — that is, whether he has gone home.

Now which version should I use?

  1. He told me that he will go home.

  2. He told me that he would go home.

If the person doing the reporting doesn’t know whether the reported event has happened, which tense should be used here?


You would use "would" if you're describing an event that already happened in the past (i.e., he already went home and you're telling a story or something).

Use "will" if he'll go home in the future, like he's just told you.

  • if the person doesn't know whether the event has happened or not. which tense should be used? – saad Aug 23 '14 at 22:23
  • Probably "will". You would use "would" more like if you're approaching everything with a past perspective, like you're telling a story of what happened in the past. – Ashwin Ramaswami Aug 23 '14 at 22:24

Choose "He told me that he would go home" unless you wish to show emphasis, in which case "will" is possible, to emphasize that he will do it despite some obstacle.


In reported speech is important to consider if the event or situation is still relevant to the time of speaking. For example I told you Ann lives with his parents ( Ann lives with his parent). It is not necessary to change tense time.

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