Reported Speech in Compound tenses and with Modal Verbs

You will study how to use reported speech in past perfect and present perfect, using modal verbs.


Reported Speech in Compound tenses and with Modal Verbs

Culture of Malaysia

Instructions: Read the text. Look at the words in bold.

Malaysian historians said Malaysia had developed a multi-ethnic, multicultural, and multilingual society. The original culture of the area stemmed from indigenous tribes that inhabited it, along with the Malays who later moved there. Substantial influence exists from Chinese and Indian culture, dating back to when foreign trade began. Other cultural influences include the Persian, Arabic, and British cultures. Due to the structure of the government, coupled with the social contract theory, there has been minimal cultural assimilation of ethnic minorities.

Malaysia. Retrieved and adapted May, 2016 from

Getting started: National Cultural Policy

Instructions: Read the text to do the activity suggested.

In 1971, the government created a “National Cultural Policy”, defining Malaysian culture. It stated that Malaysian culture must be based on the culture of the indigenous peoples of Malaysia, that it may incorporate suitable elements from other cultures, and that Islam must play a part in it. It also promoted the Malay language above others. This government intervention into culture has caused resentment among non-Malays who feel their cultural freedom was lessened. Both Chinese and Indian associations have submitted memorandums to the government, accusing it of formulating an undemocratic culture policy.

Malaysia. Retrieved May, 2016 from


Instructions: Match the two halves of the sentences.

had caused resentment among non-Malays who feel their cultural freedom was lessenedhad accused the government of formulating an undemocratic culture policyhas created a “National Cultural Policy”must be based on the culture of the indigenous peoples of Malaysia had been to define Malaysian culture

1. It has been said that the government _______________

2. Politicians said its creation _______________

3. They have told everybody that Malaysian culture _______________

4. Some Malaysians said it _______________

5. Both Chinese and Indian associations have told Malaysian citizens they _______________

Let’s learn how to form Reported Speech in Compound tenses and with Modal verbs.

Instructions: Read about Reported Speech in Compound tenses and with Modal verbs.

Remember that we use Reported Speech sentences to retell something someone else say.

A) Reported Speech sentences in Compound tenses are structured as follows:


Tense Direct SpeechReported Speech
Present Perfect sentenceI haven’t gone to Ipoh.She said she hadn’t gone to Ipoh. (Past Perfect)
Past PerfectI had been to Johor Bahru.He said he had been to Johor Bahru. (Past Perfect)


B) Reported Speech sentences with Modal verbs are formed as follows:


Modal verbDirect SpeechReported Speech
WillI will go to Malaca.She said she would go to Malaca
WouldI would travel to Miri.He said he would travel to Miri.
CanWe can sail to Shah Alam.They said they could sail to Shah Alam.
CouldWe could live in Kuala Terengganu.They told me they could live in Kuala Terengganu.
ShallThey shall study in Alor Setar.They told me they should study in Alor Setar.
ShouldShe should come to Sandakan.She told me she should come to Sandakan.
MightI might be in Kuantan soon.She said she might be in Kuantan soon.
MustWe must meet them in Seremban.They said they must meet them in Seremban.
Or They said they had to meet them in Seremban.




Instructions: Make Reported Speech sentences with the following prompts.

told A friend inwas of minemeBintulufromhe Malaysia
he He years come said a couple ofhad to Americaago
school would He to finished said as soon as hego backheBintulu
heHe schoolshould toldinfinishmea year
He Malaysian girl must toldto aget married me alsohe



Instructions: Complete the conversation with the appropriate form of the verbs “say” and “tell”.

A: Hello, Hana, how are you? It’s been a long time I haven’t seen you. Your mother me you were studying in Ranau.

B: Hello, Ryan! I’m fine, thank you. Yes, I was in Ranau for six months. I enjoy being there a lot!

A: Good! They have Malaysia was a nice place to live and study.

B: Yes! It’s really interesting. I went there because a friend of mine me it was a multicultural country, full of interesting cultures.

A: What did you study there?

B: Some people had me American people could study Asian literatures and cultures in Ranau. So, I decided to study that.

A: I think it has been an amazing experience!

B: Absolutely! It really was.

done Check


Instructions: Select the words that complete correctly each sentence.

1. Newspapers say / said orang-utans could / can be endangered if Keruak Corridor In Malaysia is not secured.

2. Ecology foundations tell / told the press that expansion of palm plantations in Borneo has / had resulted in an unprecedented destruction of rainforest.

3. The director of Kinabatangan Orang-utan Conservation Programme tell / told the press that the corridor might / must be saved by connecting forests that are fragmented.

4. Especialists say / said that Pygmy Elephants and Proboscis Monkeys will / would be also benefited by the corridor preservation.

5. World Land Trust and Rainforest Trust say / said that people shall / should donate to support the Orang-utan survival.

done Check

Data retrieved and adapted from: [January, 2019]