Past Tense and Past Continuous Exercises

Simple Past and Past Continuous

1.George____________ (fall) off the ladder while he____________ (paint) the ceiling.
2. Last night I____________ (read) in the bed when I suddenly____________ (hear) a scream.
3. ____________you____________ (you watch) TV when I____________ (call) you?
4. Ann____________ (wait) for me when I____________ (arrive).
5. I____________ (not drive) very fast when the accident____________ (happen).
6. I____________ (break) a plate last night. I____________ (wash) the dishes when it____________ (slip) out of my hand.
7. Tom____________ (take) some photos when I____________ (play) in the garden.
8. We____________ (not go) out because it____________ (rain).
9. What____________ (you do) last week?
10. I____________ (see) Carol at the party. She____________ (wear) a new dress.
11. The cell phone____________ (ring) when I____________ (take) a shower.
12. It____________ (begin) to rain when I____________ (walk) home.
13. We____________ (see) an accident when we____________ (wait) for the bus.
14. The children____________ (sleep) all night.
15. The car____________ (make) strange noises all the way home

16. Mr Cooper always____________ a pound of sugar. (buy)
17. The shop assistant____________ the door now. (close)
18. Kevin and Alan never____________ away glass bottles. (throw)
19. Look! Freddy____________ two baskets. (carry)
20. Now Mrs Caveman____________ out of the window. (look)
21. Mrs Bingham____________ shopping every Saturday. (go)
22. I____________ the money at the moment. (count)
23. Mr Root always____________ a box of eggs before buying them. (open)
24. Mum often____________ her change. (forget)
25. Listen! The manager____________ to a customer. (talk)
26. My friends often____________ to the computer shop. (go)
27. We always____________ our things in a basket. (put)
28. The shop____________ at the moment. (close)
29. Every Sunday they____________ tennis. (play)
30. She____________ a shower now. (take)

Direct and Indirect Question Exercise

Direct and Indirect Question

 

1) Where does she play tennis?

2) Does he live in Paris?

3) Is she hungry?

4) What is this?

5) Do they work in Canada?

6) When do John and Luke meet?

7) Is he a lawyer?

8) When is the party?

9) Do they often go out?

10) What does he do at the weekend?

11) Are the children on holiday this week?

12) Who is she?

13) Why do you like travelling so much?

14) Does Lizzie like ice cream?

15) Are they from Chile?

16) Where is the station?

17) Where do you study Chinese?

18) Where is the nearest supermarket?

19) Do you drink coffee?

20) Is Richard always late?

Conditional Clauses

Los condicionales se emplean para especular acerca de lo que podría ocurrir, lo que puede haber ocurrido y lo que desearíamos que ocurriese. En inglés, la mayoría de las oraciones que emplean el tiempo verbal condicional contienen el término “if”. Muchas de las construcciones condicionales del inglés se utilizan en oraciones que incluyen verbos en pasado. Este uso se denomina “el pasado irreal” porque empleamos un tiempo verbal de pasado pero no estamos refiriéndonos a algo que haya sucedido realmente. Hay cinco formas principales de construir oraciones condicionales en inglés. En todos los casos, se componen de una proposición o cláusula con “if” y una proposición principal. En muchas oraciones condicionales negativas existe una construcción alternativa equivalente que usa “unless” en lugar de “if”.

Tipo de oración condicional Uso Tiempo verbal de la proposición “if” Tiempo verbal de la proposición principal
Tipo 0 Hechos generales Simple present Simple present
Tipo 1 Una condición posible y su resultado probable Simple present Simple future
Tipo 2 Una condición hipotética y su resultado probable Simple past Present conditional o Present continuous conditional
Tipo 3 Una condición no real del pasado y su resultado probable en el pasado Past perfect Perfect conditional
Mixto Una condición no real del pasado y su resultado probable en el presente Past perfect Present conditional

CONDICIONAL TIPO CERO

El “zero conditional” se utiliza cuando el tiempo al que nos referimos es ahora o siempre y la situación es real y posible. Este tipo de condicional suele emplearse para hablar de hechos generales. El tiempo verbal de ambas proposiciones es el “simple present”. En las oraciones condicionales de tipo 0, el término “if” puede normalmente sustituirse por “when” sin que cambie el significado.

Proposición “if” Proposición principal
If + simple present simple present
If this thing happens that thing happens.
If you heat ice it melts.
If it rains the grass gets wet.

Consulta más información sobre cómo usar el “zero conditional”.

CONDICIONAL TIPO 1

El “type 1 conditional” se emplea para referirse al presente o futuro cuando la situación es real. El condicional tipo 1 se refiere a una condición posible y su resultado probable. En estas oraciones, la cláusula “if” adopta el “simple present” y la proposición principal el “simple future”.

Proposición “if” Proposición principal
If + simple present simple future
If this thing happens that thing will happen.
If you don’t hurry you will miss the train.
If it rains today you will get wet.

Consulta más información sobre cómo usar el “type 1 conditional”.

CONDICIONAL TIPO 2

El “type 2 conditional” se utiliza para referirse a un tiempo que puede ser ahora o en cualquier momento y a una situación que no es real. Estas oraciones no aluden a hechos. El condicional tipo 2 se emplea para hacer referencia a una condición hipotética y su resultado probable. En estas oraciones, la proposición “if” adopta el “simple past” y la cláusula principal el “present conditional”.

Proposición “if” Proposición principal
If + simple past present conditional o present continuous conditional
If this thing happened that thing would happen. (no tengo seguridad de que tal cosa sucedería) O
that thing would be happening.
If you went to bed earlier you would not be so tired.
If it rained you would get wet.
If I spoke Italian I would be working in Italy.

Consulta más información sobre cómo usar el “type 2 conditional” con el “present conditional” y sobre cómo usar el “present continuous conditional” en una oración condicional de tipo 2.

CONDICIONAL TIPO 3

El “type 3 conditional” se emplea para referirse a un tiempo situado en el pasado y a una situación contraria a la realidad. Se basa en unos hechos que son opuestos a lo que se está expresando. El condicional tipo 3 se utiliza para hacer referencia a una condición del pasado que no es real, así como a su resultado probable en el pasado. En estas oraciones, la cláusula “if” adopta el “past perfect” y la proposición principal el “perfect conditional”.

Proposición “if” Proposición principal
If + past perfect perfect conditional o perfect continuous conditional
If this thing had happened that thing would have happened. (ninguna de tales cosas sucedió realmente) O
that thing would have been happening.
If you had studied harder you would have passed the exam.
If it had rained you would have gotten wet.
If I had accepted that promotion I would have been working in Milan.

Consulta más información sobre cómo usar el “type 3 conditional” con el “perfect conditional” y sobre cómo usar el “perfect continuous conditional”en oraciones condicionales de tipo 3.

CONDICIONAL MIXTO

El “mixed type conditional” se utiliza para referirse a un tiempo situado en el pasado y a una situación que todavía no ha concluido en el presente. Se basa en unos hechos que son opuestos a lo que se está expresando. El condicional mixto se emplea para hacer referencia a una condición del pasado que no es real y a su resultado probable en el presente. En estas oraciones, la proposición “if” adopta el “past perfect” y la cláusula principal el “present conditional”.

Proposición “if” Proposición principal
If + past perfect o simple past present conditional o perfect conditional
If this thing had happened that thing would happen. (tal cosa no ocurrió, así que tal otra no está ocurriendo)
If I had worked harder at school I would have a better job now.
If we had looked at the map we wouldn’t be lost.
If you weren’t afraid of spiders you would have picked it up and put it outside.

Consulta más información sobre cómo usar el “mixed conditional”.

Question WH

Question words

Question words are also called wh questions because they include the letters ‘W’ and ‘H’.

Question words Meaning Examples
who person Who’s that? That’s Nancy.
where place Where do you live? In Boston
why reason Why do you sleep early? Because I’ve got to get up early
when time When do you go to work? At 7:00
how manner How do you go? By car
what object, idea or action What do you do? I am an engineer
which choice Which one do you prefer? The red one.
whose possession Whose is this book? It’s Alan’s.
whom object of the verb Whom did you meet? I met the manager.
what kind description What kind of music do you like? I like quiet songs
what time time What time did you come home?
how many quantity (countable) How many students are there? There are twenty.
how much amount, price (uncountable) How much time have we got? Ten minutes
how long duration, length How long did you stay in that hotel? For two weeks.
how often frequency How often do you go to the gym? Twice a week.
how far distance How far is your school? It’s one mile far.
how old age How old are you? I’m 16.
how come reason How come I didn’t see you at the party?

Asking questions

1.If you ask about the subject of the sentence, simply add the question word at the beginning:

Example:
James writes good poems. — Who writes good poems?

2.If you ask about the predicate of the sentence (the part of a sentence which contains the verb and gives information about the subject), there are three options:

  • If there is a helping (auxiliary) verb that precedes the main verb ( for example: can, is, are, was, were, will, would…), add the question word and invert the subject and the helping (auxiliary) verb.
    Examples:
    He can speak Chinese. — What can he speak?
    They are leaving tonight. — When are they leaving?
  • If you ask about the predicate and there is no helping (auxiliary) verb and the verb is “to be”, simply add the question word and invert the subject and the verb.
    Example:
    The play was interesting. — How was the play?
  • If there is no helping (auxiliary) verb in the the predicate and the main verb is not “to be”, add the auxiliary “do” in the appropriate form.
    Examples:
    They go to the movies every Saturday. — Where do they go every Saturday?
    He wakes up early. — When does he wake up?
    They sent a letter. — What did they send?

Present Continuous

FORMACIÓN DEL “PRESENT CONTINUOUS”

El “present continuous” de cualquier verbo se compone de dos partes: el presente del verbo to be + el “present participle” del verbo principal.

(Para formar el “present participle”: raíz+ing, e.g. talking, playing, moving, smiling)

Afirmativa
Sujeto to be + raíz + ing
She is talking.
Negativa
Sujeto to be + not + raíz + ing
She is not (isn’t) talking
Interrogativa
to be + sujeto + raíz + ing
Is she talking?

EJEMPLOS: TO GO, “PRESENT CONTINUOUS”

Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa
I am going I am not going Am I going?
You are going You aren’t going. Are you going?
He, she, it is going He, she, it isn’t going Is he, she, it going?
We are going We aren’t going Are we going?
You are going You aren’t going Are you going?
They are going They aren’t going Are they going?

Nota: contracciones de las formas negativas: I’m not going, you’re not going, he’s not going etc.

FUNCIONES DEL “PRESENT CONTINUOUS”

Como ocurre con todos los tiempos verbales del inglés, la actitud del hablante es tan importante como el momento en que ocurre la acción o el evento. Al emplear el “present continuous”, nos estamos refiriendo a algo que no ha terminado o está incompleto

EL “PRESENT CONTINUOUS” SE UTILIZA:
  • para describir una acción que está teniendo lugar en este momento: You are using the InternetYou are studying English grammar.
  • para describir una tendencia o una acción que está sucediendo en la actualidad: Are you still working for the same company? More and more people are becoming vegetarian.
  • para describir una acción o evento futuros que ya están programados: We’re going on holiday tomorrowI’m meeting my boyfriend tonightAre they visiting you next winter?
  • para describir una situación o evento temporales: He usually plays the drums, but he’s playing bass guitar tonightThe weather forecast was good, but it’s raining at the moment.
  • con “always, forever, constantly”, para describir y enfatizar una sucesión de acciones repetidas: Harry and Sally are always arguingYou’re constantly complaining about your mother-in-law!
¡CUIDADO! Hay algunos verbos que no suelen emplear la forma progresiva

VERBOS QUE NO SUELEN EMPLEAR LA FORMA PROGRESIVA

Los verbos de la siguiente lista suelen utilizar la forma simple porque hacen referencia a estados, más que acciones o procesos.

SENSACIÓN / PERCEPCIÓN
  • to feel*
  • to hear
  • to see*
  • to smell
  • to taste
OPINIÓN
  • to assume
  • to believe
  • to consider
  • to doubt
  • to feel (= pensar)
  • to find (= considerar)
  • to suppose
  • to think*
ESTADOS MENTALES
  • to forget
  • to imagine
  • to know
  • to mean
  • to notice
  • to recognise
  • to remember
  • to understand
EMOCIONES / DESEOS
  • to envy
  • to fear
  • to dislike
  • to hate
  • to hope
  • to like
  • to love
  • to mind
  • to prefer
  • to regret
  • to want
  • to wish
MEDIDAS
  • to contain
  • to cost
  • to hold
  • to measure
  • to weigh
OTROS
  • to look (=parecerse a)
  • to seem
  • to be (en la mayoría de los casos)
  • to have(cuando significa “poseer”)*
EXCEPCIONES

Los verbos de sensación y percepción (see, hear, feel, taste, smell) suelen utilizarse con can: I can see… Pueden tomar la forma progresiva pero, en este caso, su significado suele variar.

  • This coat feels nice and warm. (percepción de las cualidades del abrigo)
  • John’s feeling much better now (está mejor de salud)
  • She has three dogs and a cat. (posesión)
  • She’s having supper. (está tomando)
  • I can see Anthony in the garden (percepción)
  • I’m seeing Anthony later (tenemos intención de vernos)

Simple Past

FUNCIONES DEL “SIMPLE PAST”

El “simple past” se utiliza para hablar de una acción que concluyó en un tiempo anterior al actual. La duración no es relevante. El tiempo en que se sitúa la acción puede ser el pasado reciente o un pasado lejano.

EJEMPLOS
  • John Cabot sailed to America in 1498.
  • My father died last year.
  • He lived in Fiji in 1976.
  • We crossed the Channel yesterday.

Siempre se utiliza el “simple past” para referirse a cuándo ocurrió algo, de modo que va asociado a ciertas expresiones temporales que indican:

  • frecuenciaoften, sometimes, always
    I sometimes walked home at lunchtime.
    I often brought my lunch to school.
  • un tiempo determinadolast week, when I was a child, yesterday, six weeks ago
    We saw a good film last week.
    Yesterday, I arrived in Geneva.
    She finished her work atseven o’clock
    went to the theatre last night
  • un tiempo indeterminadothe other day, ages ago, a long time ago People lived in caves a long time ago.
  • She played the piano when she was a child.

Nota: el término ago es útil para expresar distancia temporal en el pasado. Se coloca después del periodo de tiempo de que se trate: a week ago, three years ago, a minute ago.

Cuidado: el “simple past” del inglés puede parecerse a un tiempo verbal de tu propio idioma y, sin embargo, su significado puede ser distinto.

FORMACIÓN DEL “SIMPLE PAST”

FORMACIÓN DEL “SIMPLE PAST” CON VERBOS REGULARES
Afirmativa
Sujeto + raíz + ed
I skipped.
Negativa
Sujeto + did not + infinitivo sin to
They didn’t go.
Interrogativa
Did + sujeto + infinitivo sin to
Did she arrive?
Interrogativa negativa
Did not + sujeto + infinitivo sin to
Didn’t you play?
TO WALK
Afirmativa Negativa Interrogativa
I walked I didn’t walk Did I walk?
You walked You didn’t walk Did you walk?
He walked He didn’t walk Did he walk?
We walked We didn’t walk Did we walk?
They walked They didn’t walk Did they walk?
“SIMPLE PAST” DE LOS VERBOS TO BE, TO HAVE, TO DO
Sujeto Verbo
Be Have Do
I was had did
You were had did
He/She/It was had did
We were had did
You were had did
They were had did

NOTAS SOBRE LAS CONSTRUCCIONES AFIRMATIVA, NEGATIVA E INTERROGATIVA

AFIRMATIVA

La forma afirmativa del “simple past” es sencilla.

  • was in Japan last year
  • She had a headache yesterday.
  • We did our homework last night.
NEGATIVA E INTERROGATIVA

Para las formas negativa e interrogativa del “simple past” del verbo “do” como verbo ordinario, se emplea como auxiliar “do”, e.g. We didn’t do our homework last night.
La forma negativa del verbo “have” en “simple past” suele construirse utilizando el auxiliar “do”, aunque en ocasiones solo se añade not o la contracción “n’t”.

La forma interrogativa del verbo “have” en “simple past” suele emplear el auxiliar “do”.

EJEMPLOS
  • They weren’t in Rio last summer.
  • We didn’t have any money.
  • We didn’t have time to visit the Eiffel Tower.
  • We didn’t do our exercises this morning.
  • Were they in Iceland last January?
  • Did you have a bicycle when you were young?
  • Did you do much climbing in Switzerland?

Nota: para construir las formas negativa e interrogativa de todos los verbos en “simple past”, se utiliza siempre el auxiliar ‘did”.

“SIMPLE PAST”: VERBOS IRREGULARES

Algunos verbos hacen el “simple past” de forma irregular. Estos son los más comunes.

TO GO
  • He went to a club last night.
  • Did he go to the cinema last night?
  • He didn’t go to bed early last night.
TO GIVE
  • We gave her a doll for her birthday.
  • They didn’t give John their new address.
  • Did Barry give you my passport?
TO COME
  • My parents came to visit me last July.
  • We didn’t come because it was raining.
  • Did he come to your party last week?

 

Used To

We can use “used to” to talk about a past habit or state.

 

An example for a state: “He used to live in London” (but he doesn’t now)

An example for a habit: “He used to go on holiday to Scotland every year” (but he doesn’t now)

“Used to” is the same for all subjects, and you follow it with the infinitive without “to”:

“I / You / He / She / We / They used to smoke.”

To make the negative, use “didn’t” + use + to + verb. (Remove the final /d/ ending from “used”.)

“I / He didn’t use to smoke.”

To make the question, use “did” as the auxiliary, and take the final /d/ ending off “used”:

Did you / she use to smoke?”

To talk about past habits in English, you can also use would + infinitive without “to”:

“We would go to Scotland every year when I was a child.”
“We would travel there by car overnight.”

However, you cannot use “would” in this way to talk about past states. For this, you must use “used to”.

 

 

 

Be used to + doing

 

There’s a big difference between used to do – to talk about past habits or states and is used to doing – to talk about our familiarity with a place, or activity.

The form is subject + verb to be + used to + verb in the ing form / noun

“I am / was used to studying English every day.”
“I am used to his jokes.” (example with a noun)
“You are / were used to studying English every day.”
“He is / was used to studying English every day.”

You can change the verb “to be” with the verb “get” to talk about the process of becoming used to something (rather than the state of being used to something).

“If you live in England, you will get used to driving on the left!” (= it will no longer be a problem for you)
“He finally got used to the winter weather.”

Don’t make the mistake of combining both forms to make an ungrammatical sentence like “I am used to study.”

Remember: Either “I used to study” (past habit but no longer true) or
“I am used to studying” (I am familiar with studying).

Simple Present Tense

 

The simple present tense in English is used to describe an action that is regular, true or normal.

We use the present tense:

  1. For repeated or regular actions in the present time period.
  • I take the train to the office.
  • The train to Berlin leaves every hour.
  • John sleeps eight hours every night during the week.
  1. For facts.
  • The President of The USA lives in The White House.
  • A dog has four legs.
  • We come from Switzerland.
  1. For habits.
  • I get up early every day.
  • Carol brushes her teeth twice a day.
  • They travel to their country house every weekend.
  1. For things that are always / generally true.
  • It rains a lot in winter.
  • The Queen of England lives in Buckingham Palace.
  • They speak English at work.

Verb Conjugation & Spelling

We form the present tense using the base form of the infinitive (without the TO).

In general, in the third person we add ‘S’ in the third person.

Subject                     Verb                       The Rest of the sentence

I / you / we / they     speak / learn           English at home

he / she / it                speaks / learns        English at home

 

The spelling for the verb in the third person differs depending on the ending of that verb:

  1. For verbs that end in -O, -CH, -SH, -SS, -X, or -Z we add -ES in the third person.

go – goes

catch – catches

wash – washes

kiss – kisses

fix – fixes

buzz – buzzes

  1. For verbs that end in a consonant + Y, we remove the Y and add -IES.

marry – marries

study – studies

carry – carries

worry – worries

NOTE: For verbs that end in a vowel + Y, we just add -S.

play – plays

enjoy – enjoys

say – says

 

Negative Sentences in the Simple Present Tense

To make a negative sentence in English we normally use Don’t or Doesn’t with all verbs EXCEPT To Be and Modal verbs (can, might, should etc.).

  • Affirmative: You speak French.
    Negative: You don’t speak French.

You will see that we add don’t between the subject and the verb. We use Don’t when the subject is I, you, we or they.

  • Affirmative: He speaks German.
    Negative: He doesn’t speak German.

When the subject is he, she or it, we add doesn’t between the subject and the verb to make a negative sentence. Notice that the letter S at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in third person) disappears in the negative sentence. We will see the reason why below.

 

 

Negative Contractions

Don’t = Do not
Doesn’t = Does not

I don’t like meat = I do not like meat.

There is no difference in meaning though we normally use contractions in spoken English.

Word Order of Negative Sentences

The following is the word order to construct a basic negative sentence in English in the Present Tense using Don’t or Doesn’t.

Subject don’t/doesn’t Verb* The Rest of the sentence
I / you / we / they don’t have / buy
eat / like etc.
cereal for breakfast
he / she / it doesn’t

* Verb: The verb that goes here is the base form of the infinitive = The infinitive without TO before the verb. Instead of the infinitive To have it is just the have part.

Remember that the infinitive is the verb before it is conjugated (changed) and it begins with TO. For example: to have, to eat, to go, to live, to speak etc.

Examples of Negative Sentences with Don’t and Doesn’t:

  • You don’t speak Arabic.
  • John doesn’t speak Italian.
  • We don’t have time for a rest.
  • It doesn’t move.
  • They don’t want to go to the party.
  • She doesn’t like fish.

 

Questions in the Simple Present Tense

To make a question in English we normally use Do or Does. It has no translation in Spanish though it is essential to show we are making a question. It is normally put at the beginning of the question.

  • Affirmative: You speak English.
    Question: Do you speak English?

You will see that we add DO at the beginning of the affirmative sentence to make it a question. We use Do when the subject is I, you, we or they.

  • Affirmative: He speaks French.
    Question: Does he speak French?

When the subject is he, she or it, we add DOES at the beginning to make the affirmative sentence a question. Notice that the letter S at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in third person) disappears in the question. We will see the reason why below.

We DON’T use Do or Does in questions that have the verb To Be or Modal Verbs (can, must, might, should etc.)

 

Word Order of Questions with Do and Does

The following is the word order to construct a basic question in English using Do or Does.

Do/Does Subject Verb* The Rest of the sentence
Do I / you / we / they have / need
want etc.
a new bike?
Does he / she / it

*Verb: The verb that goes here is the base form of the infinitive = The infinitive without TO before the verb. Instead of the infinitive To have it is just the have part.

Remember that the infinitive is the verb before it is conjugated (changed) and it begins with TO. For example: to have, to eat, to go, to live, to speak etc.

Examples of Questions with Do and Does:

  • Do you need a dictionary?
  • Does Mary need a dictionary?
  • Do we have a meeting now?
  • Does it rain a lot in winter?
  • Do they want to go to the party?
  • Does he like pizza?

 

Direct and Indirect Question

Direct and Indirect Question

Direct questions are the “normal” questions that we can ask friends, family members, and people who we know well.

Example of a direct question:
“Where’s the bathroom?”

Indirect questions are a little more formal and polite. We use them when talking to a person we don’t know very well, or in professional situations, and their form is a little different.

Example of an indirect question:
“Could you tell me where the bathroom is?”

 

Phrases For Indirect Questions

  • Could you tell me…
  • Do you know…
  • I was wondering…
  • Do you have any idea…
  • I’d like to know…
  • Would it be possible…
  • Is there any chance…

 

Examples

Direct: Where is Market Street?

Indirect: Could you tell me where Market Street is?

In indirect questions with is/are, the verb (is) comes after the subject (Market Street).

 

Direct What time does the bank open?

Indirect: Do you know what time the bank opens?

In indirect questions, we don’t use the auxiliary verbs do/does/did. Also, you can see that the verb is “open” in the direct question, and “opens” in the indirect question.

 

Direct: Why did you move to Europe?

Indirect: I was wondering why you moved to Europe.

Again, there is no auxiliary verb did in the indirect question. In fact, this indirect question isn’t even a question – it’s more of a statement that invites the other person to give more information.

 

Direct: How has he managed to get in shape so quickly?

Indirect: Do you have any idea how he’s managed to get in shape so quickly?

The auxiliary verbs have and has can be used in both the direct and indirect questions – but in the direct question, “has” comes before the subject (he), and in the indirect question, “has” comes after the subject.

 

Direct: How much does this motorcycle cost?

Indirect: I’d like to know how much this motorcycle costs.

To form the indirect question, remove does and change “cost” to “costs.”

 

Direct: Can you finish the project by tomorrow?

Indirect: Would it be possible for you to finish the project by tomorrow?

For direct questions with can, we can use the phrase “would it be possible…” to make it indirect.

 

Direct: Can we change the meeting to Thursday?

Indirect: Is there any chance we could change the meeting to Thursday?

“Is there any chance…” is another option for forming indirect questions with can.