Time and Place in Reported Speech

When we report something, we may need to make changes to:

  • time (now, tomorrow)
  • place (here, this room)

If we report something around the same time, then we probably do not need to make any changes to time words . But if we report something at a different time, we need to change time words. Look at these example sentences:

  • He said: "It was hot yesterday ." → He said that it had been hot the day before .
  • He said: "We are going to swim tomorrow ." → He said they were going to swim the next day .

Here is a list of common time words, showing how you change them for reported speech:

Place words

If we are in the same place when we report something, then we do not need to make any changes to place words . But if we are in a different place when we report something, then we need to change the place words. Look at these example sentences:

  • He said: "It is cold in here ." → He said that it was cold in there .
  • He said: "How much is this book ?" → He asked how much the book was.

Here are some common place words, showing how you change them for reported speech:

Contributor: Josef Essberger

Reported Speech – Rules, Examples & Worksheet

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| Candace Osmond

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

They say gossip is a natural part of human life. That’s why language has evolved to develop grammatical rules about the “he said” and “she said” statements. We call them reported speech.

Every time we use reported speech in English, we are talking about something said by someone else in the past. Thinking about it brings me back to high school, when reported speech was the main form of language!

Learn all about the definition, rules, and examples of reported speech as I go over everything. I also included a worksheet at the end of the article so you can test your knowledge of the topic.

What Does Reported Speech Mean?

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Reported speech is a term we use when telling someone what another person said. You can do this while speaking or writing.

There are two kinds of reported speech you can use: direct speech and indirect speech. I’ll break each down for you.

A direct speech sentence mentions the exact words the other person said. For example:

  • Kryz said, “These are all my necklaces.”

Indirect speech changes the original speaker’s words. For example:

  • Kryz said those were all her necklaces.

When we tell someone what another individual said, we use reporting verbs like told, asked, convinced, persuaded, and said. We also change the first-person figure in the quotation into the third-person speaker.

Reported Speech Examples

We usually talk about the past every time we use reported speech. That’s because the time of speaking is already done. For example:

  • Direct speech: The employer asked me, “Do you have experience with people in the corporate setting?”

Indirect speech: The employer asked me if I had experience with people in the corporate setting.

  • Direct speech: “I’m working on my thesis,” I told James.

Indirect speech: I told James that I was working on my thesis.

Reported Speech Structure

A speech report has two parts: the reporting clause and the reported clause. Read the example below:

  • Harry said, “You need to help me.”

The reporting clause here is William said. Meanwhile, the reported clause is the 2nd clause, which is I need your help.

What are the 4 Types of Reported Speech?

Aside from direct and indirect, reported speech can also be divided into four. The four types of reported speech are similar to the kinds of sentences: imperative, interrogative, exclamatory, and declarative.

Reported Speech Rules

The rules for reported speech can be complex. But with enough practice, you’ll be able to master them all.

Choose Whether to Use That or If

The most common conjunction in reported speech is that. You can say, “My aunt says she’s outside,” or “My aunt says that she’s outside.”

Use if when you’re reporting a yes-no question. For example:

  • Direct speech: “Are you coming with us?”

Indirect speech: She asked if she was coming with them.

Verb Tense Changes

Change the reporting verb into its past form if the statement is irrelevant now. Remember that some of these words are irregular verbs, meaning they don’t follow the typical -d or -ed pattern. For example:

  • Direct speech: I dislike fried chicken.

Reported speech: She said she disliked fried chicken.

Note how the main verb in the reported statement is also in the past tense verb form.

Use the simple present tense in your indirect speech if the initial words remain relevant at the time of reporting. This verb tense also works if the report is something someone would repeat. For example:

  • Slater says they’re opening a restaurant soon.
  • Maya says she likes dogs.

This rule proves that the choice of verb tense is not a black-and-white question. The reporter needs to analyze the context of the action.

Move the tense backward when the reporting verb is in the past tense. That means:

  • Present simple becomes past simple.
  • Present perfect becomes past perfect.
  • Present continuous becomes past continuous.
  • Past simple becomes past perfect.
  • Past continuous becomes past perfect continuous.

Here are some examples:

  • The singer has left the building. (present perfect)

He said that the singers had left the building. (past perfect)

  • Her sister gave her new shows. (past simple)
  • She said that her sister had given her new shoes. (past perfect)

If the original speaker is discussing the future, change the tense of the reporting verb into the past form. There’ll also be a change in the auxiliary verbs.

  • Will or shall becomes would.
  • Will be becomes would be.
  • Will have been becomes would have been.
  • Will have becomes would have.

For example:

  • Direct speech: “I will be there in a moment.”

Indirect speech: She said that she would be there in a moment.

Do not change the verb tenses in indirect speech when the sentence has a time clause. This rule applies when the introductory verb is in the future, present, and present perfect. Here are other conditions where you must not change the tense:

  • If the sentence is a fact or generally true.
  • If the sentence’s verb is in the unreal past (using second or third conditional).
  • If the original speaker reports something right away.
  • Do not change had better, would, used to, could, might, etc.

Changes in Place and Time Reference

Changing the place and time adverb when using indirect speech is essential. For example, now becomes then and today becomes that day. Here are more transformations in adverbs of time and places.

  • This – that.
  • These – those.
  • Now – then.
  • Here – there.
  • Tomorrow – the next/following day.
  • Two weeks ago – two weeks before.
  • Yesterday – the day before.

Here are some examples.

  • Direct speech: “I am baking cookies now.”

Indirect speech: He said he was baking cookies then.

  • Direct speech: “Myra went here yesterday.”

Indirect speech: She said Myra went there the day before.

  • Direct speech: “I will go to the market tomorrow.”

Indirect speech: She said she would go to the market the next day.

Using Modals

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If the direct speech contains a modal verb, make sure to change them accordingly.

  • Will becomes would
  • Can becomes could
  • Shall becomes should or would.
  • Direct speech: “Will you come to the ball with me?”

Indirect speech: He asked if he would come to the ball with me.

  • Direct speech: “Gina can inspect the room tomorrow because she’s free.”

Indirect speech: He said Gina could inspect the room the next day because she’s free.

However, sometimes, the modal verb should does not change grammatically. For example:

  • Direct speech: “He should go to the park.”

Indirect speech: She said that he should go to the park.

Imperative Sentences

To change an imperative sentence into a reported indirect sentence, use to for imperative and not to for negative sentences. Never use the word that in your indirect speech. Another rule is to remove the word please . Instead, say request or say. For example:

  • “Please don’t interrupt the event,” said the host.

The host requested them not to interrupt the event.

  • Jonah told her, “Be careful.”
  • Jonah ordered her to be careful.

Reported Questions

When reporting a direct question, I would use verbs like inquire, wonder, ask, etc. Remember that we don’t use a question mark or exclamation mark for reports of questions. Below is an example I made of how to change question forms.

  • Incorrect: He asked me where I live?

Correct: He asked me where I live.

Here’s another example. The first sentence uses direct speech in a present simple question form, while the second is the reported speech.

  • Where do you live?

She asked me where I live.

Wrapping Up Reported Speech

My guide has shown you an explanation of reported statements in English. Do you have a better grasp on how to use it now?

Reported speech refers to something that someone else said. It contains a subject, reporting verb, and a reported cause.

Don’t forget my rules for using reported speech. Practice the correct verb tense, modal verbs, time expressions, and place references.

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What is Reported Speech and how to use it? with Examples

Reported speech and indirect speech are two terms that refer to the same concept, which is the act of expressing what someone else has said. Reported speech is different from direct speech because it does not use the speaker's exact words. Instead, the reporting verb is used to introduce the reported speech, and the tense and pronouns are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. There are two main types of reported speech: statements and questions. 1. Reported Statements: In reported statements, the reporting verb is usually "said." The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and any pronouns referring to the speaker or listener are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. For example, "I am going to the store," becomes "He said that he was going to the store." 2. Reported Questions: In reported questions, the reporting verb is usually "asked." The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and the word order changes from a question to a statement. For example, "What time is it?" becomes "She asked what time it was." It's important to note that the tense shift in reported speech depends on the context and the time of the reported speech. Here are a few more examples: ●  Direct speech: "I will call you later." Reported speech: He said that he would call me later. ●  Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework. ●  Direct speech: "I love pizza." Reported speech: They said that they loved pizza.

When do we use reported speech?

Reported speech is used to report what someone else has said, thought, or written. It is often used in situations where you want to relate what someone else has said without quoting them directly. Reported speech can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in news reports, academic writing, and everyday conversation. Some common situations where reported speech is used include: News reports: Journalists often use reported speech to quote what someone said in an interview or press conference. Business and professional communication: In professional settings, reported speech can be used to summarize what was discussed in a meeting or to report feedback from a customer. Conversational English: In everyday conversations, reported speech is used to relate what someone else said. For example, "She told me that she was running late." Narration: In written narratives or storytelling, reported speech can be used to convey what a character said or thought.

How to make reported speech?

1. Change the pronouns and adverbs of time and place: In reported speech, you need to change the pronouns, adverbs of time and place to reflect the new speaker or point of view. Here's an example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the store now," she said. Reported speech: She said she was going to the store then. In this example, the pronoun "I" is changed to "she" and the adverb "now" is changed to "then." 2. Change the tense: In reported speech, you usually need to change the tense of the verb to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here's an example: Direct speech: "I will meet you at the park tomorrow," he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day. In this example, the present tense "will" is changed to the past tense "would." 3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as "say," "tell," "ask," or "inquire" depending on the context of the speech. Here's an example: Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework. In this example, the reporting verb "asked" is changed to "said" and "did" is changed to "had." Overall, when making reported speech, it's important to pay attention to the verb tense and the changes in pronouns, adverbs, and reporting verbs to convey the original speaker's message accurately.

How do I change the pronouns and adverbs in reported speech?

1. Changing Pronouns: In reported speech, the pronouns in the original statement must be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. Generally, the first person pronouns (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours) are changed according to the subject of the reporting verb, while the second and third person pronouns (you, your, yours, he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its, they, them, their, theirs) are changed according to the object of the reporting verb. For example: Direct speech: "I love chocolate." Reported speech: She said she loved chocolate. Direct speech: "You should study harder." Reported speech: He advised me to study harder. Direct speech: "She is reading a book." Reported speech: They noticed that she was reading a book. 2. Changing Adverbs: In reported speech, the adverbs and adverbial phrases that indicate time or place may need to be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. For example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the cinema tonight." Reported speech: She said she was going to the cinema that night. Direct speech: "He is here." Reported speech: She said he was there. Note that the adverb "now" usually changes to "then" or is omitted altogether in reported speech, depending on the context. It's important to keep in mind that the changes made to pronouns and adverbs in reported speech depend on the context and the perspective of the new speaker. With practice, you can become more comfortable with making these changes in reported speech.

How do I change the tense in reported speech?

In reported speech, the tense of the reported verb usually changes to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here are some guidelines on how to change the tense in reported speech: Present simple in direct speech changes to past simple in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I like pizza." Reported speech: She said she liked pizza. Present continuous in direct speech changes to past continuous in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I am studying for my exam." Reported speech: He said he was studying for his exam. Present perfect in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I have finished my work." Reported speech: She said she had finished her work. Past simple in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I visited my grandparents last weekend." Reported speech: She said she had visited her grandparents the previous weekend. Will in direct speech changes to would in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I will help you with your project." Reported speech: He said he would help me with my project. Can in direct speech changes to could in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I can speak French." Reported speech: She said she could speak French. Remember that the tense changes in reported speech depend on the tense of the verb in the direct speech, and the tense you use in reported speech should match the time frame of the new speaker's perspective. With practice, you can become more comfortable with changing the tense in reported speech.

Do I always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech?

No, you do not always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech. However, using a reporting verb can help to clarify who is speaking and add more context to the reported speech. In some cases, the reported speech can be introduced by phrases such as "I heard that" or "It seems that" without using a reporting verb. For example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the cinema tonight." Reported speech with a reporting verb: She said she was going to the cinema tonight. Reported speech without a reporting verb: It seems that she's going to the cinema tonight. However, it's important to note that using a reporting verb can help to make the reported speech more formal and accurate. When using reported speech in academic writing or journalism, it's generally recommended to use a reporting verb to make the reporting more clear and credible. Some common reporting verbs include say, tell, explain, ask, suggest, and advise. For example: Direct speech: "I think we should invest in renewable energy." Reported speech with a reporting verb: She suggested that they invest in renewable energy. Overall, while using a reporting verb is not always required, it can be helpful to make the reported speech more clear and accurate.

How to use reported speech to report questions and commands?

1. Reporting Questions: When reporting questions, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "asked" or "wondered" followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here's an example: Direct speech: "What time is the meeting?" Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was. Note that the question mark is not used in reported speech. 2. Reporting Commands: When reporting commands, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "ordered" or "told" followed by the person, to + infinitive, and any additional information. Here's an example: Direct speech: "Clean your room!" Reported speech: She ordered me to clean my room. Note that the exclamation mark is not used in reported speech. In both cases, the tense of the reported verb should be changed accordingly. For example, present simple changes to past simple, and future changes to conditional. Here are some examples: Direct speech: "Will you go to the party with me?" Reported speech: She asked if I would go to the party with her. Direct speech: "Please bring me a glass of water." Reported speech: She requested that I bring her a glass of water. Remember that when using reported speech to report questions and commands, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately.

How to make questions in reported speech?

To make questions in reported speech, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "asked" or "wondered" followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here are the steps to make questions in reported speech: Identify the reporting verb: The first step is to identify the reporting verb in the sentence. Common reporting verbs used to report questions include "asked," "inquired," "wondered," and "wanted to know." Change the tense and pronouns: Next, you need to change the tense and pronouns in the sentence to reflect the shift from direct to reported speech. The tense of the verb is usually shifted back one tense (e.g. from present simple to past simple) in reported speech. The pronouns should also be changed as necessary to reflect the shift in perspective from the original speaker to the reporting speaker. Use an appropriate question word: If the original question contained a question word (e.g. who, what, where, when, why, how), you should use the same question word in the reported question. If the original question did not contain a question word, you can use "if" or "whether" to introduce the reported question. Change the word order: In reported speech, the word order of the question changes from the inverted form to a normal statement form. The subject usually comes before the verb, unless the original question started with a question word. Here are some examples of reported questions: Direct speech: "What time is the meeting?" Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was. Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" Reported speech: He wanted to know if I had finished my homework. Direct speech: "Where are you going?" Reported speech: She wondered where I was going. Remember that when making questions in reported speech, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately. Here you can find more examples of direct and indirect questions

What is the difference between reported speech an indirect speech?

In reported or indirect speech, you are retelling or reporting what someone said using your own words. The tense of the reported speech is usually shifted back one tense from the tense used in the original statement. For example, if someone said, "I am going to the store," in reported speech you would say, "He/she said that he/she was going to the store." The main difference between reported speech and indirect speech is that reported speech usually refers to spoken language, while indirect speech can refer to both spoken and written language. Additionally, indirect speech is a broader term that includes reported speech as well as other ways of expressing what someone else has said, such as paraphrasing or summarizing.

Examples of direct speech to reported

1. Direct speech: "I am hungry," she said. Reported speech: She said she was hungry. 2. Direct speech: "Can you pass the salt, please?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked her to pass the salt. 3. Direct speech: "I will meet you at the cinema," he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet her at the cinema. 4. Direct speech: "I have been working on this project for hours," she said. Reported speech: She said she had been working on the project for hours. 5. Direct speech: "What time does the train leave?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked what time the train left. 6. Direct speech: "I love playing the piano," she said. Reported speech: She said she loved playing the piano. 7. Direct speech: "I am going to the grocery store," he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to the grocery store. 8. Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" the teacher asked. Reported speech: The teacher asked if he had finished his homework. 9. Direct speech: "I want to go to the beach," she said. Reported speech: She said she wanted to go to the beach. 10. Direct speech: "Do you need help with that?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked if she needed help with that. 11. Direct speech: "I can't come to the party," he said. Reported speech: He said he couldn't come to the party. 12. Direct speech: "Please don't leave me," she said. Reported speech: She begged him not to leave her. 13. Direct speech: "I have never been to London before," he said. Reported speech: He said he had never been to London before. 14. Direct speech: "Where did you put my phone?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked where she had put her phone. 15. Direct speech: "I'm sorry for being late," he said. Reported speech: He apologized for being late. 16. Direct speech: "I need some help with this math problem," she said. Reported speech: She said she needed some help with the math problem. 17. Direct speech: "I am going to study abroad next year," he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to study abroad the following year. 18. Direct speech: "Can you give me a ride to the airport?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked him to give her a ride to the airport. 19. Direct speech: "I don't know how to fix this," he said. Reported speech: He said he didn't know how to fix it. 20. Direct speech: "I hate it when it rains," she said. Reported speech: She said she hated it when it rained.

What is Direct and Indirect Speech?

Direct and indirect speech are two different ways of reporting spoken or written language. Let's delve into the details and provide some examples. Click here to read more

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Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

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What is reported speech?

“Reported speech” is when we talk about what somebody else said – for example:

  • Direct Speech: “I’ve been to London three times.”
  • Reported Speech: She said she’d been to London three times.

There are a lot of tricky little details to remember, but don’t worry, I’ll explain them and we’ll see lots of examples. The lesson will have three parts – we’ll start by looking at statements in reported speech, and then we’ll learn about some exceptions to the rules, and finally we’ll cover reported questions, requests, and commands.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

So much of English grammar – like this topic, reported speech – can be confusing, hard to understand, and even harder to use correctly. I can help you learn grammar easily and use it confidently inside my Advanced English Grammar Course.

In this course, I will make even the most difficult parts of English grammar clear to you – and there are lots of opportunities for you to practice!

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Backshift of Verb Tenses in Reported Speech

When we use reported speech, we often change the verb tense backwards in time. This can be called “backshift.”

Here are some examples in different verb tenses:

Reported Speech (Part 1) Quiz

Exceptions to backshift in reported speech.

Now that you know some of the reported speech rules about backshift, let’s learn some exceptions.

There are two situations in which we do NOT need to change the verb tense.

No backshift needed when the situation is still true

For example, if someone says “I have three children” (direct speech) then we would say “He said he has three children” because the situation continues to be true.

If I tell you “I live in the United States” (direct speech) then you could tell someone else “She said she lives in the United States” (that’s reported speech) because it is still true.

When the situation is still true, then we don’t need to backshift the verb.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

He said he HAS three children

But when the situation is NOT still true, then we DO need to backshift the verb.

Imagine your friend says, “I have a headache.”

  • If you immediately go and talk to another friend, you could say, “She said she has a headache,” because the situation is still true
  • If you’re talking about that conversation a month after it happened, then you would say, “She said she had a headache,” because it’s no longer true.

No backshift needed when the situation is still in the future

We also don’t need to backshift to the verb when somebody said something about the future, and the event is still in the future.

Here’s an example:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Friday .”
  • “She said she ‘ll call me on Friday”, because Friday is still in the future from now.
  • It is also possible to say, “She said she ‘d (she would) call me on Friday.”
  • Both of them are correct, so the backshift in this case is optional.

Let’s look at a different situation:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Tuesday .”
  • “She said she ‘d  call me on Tuesday.” I must backshift because the event is NOT still in the future.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Review: Reported Speech, Backshift, & Exceptions

Quick review:

  • Normally in reported speech we backshift the verb, we put it in a verb tense that’s a little bit further in the past.
  • when the situation is still true
  • when the situation is still in the future

Reported Requests, Orders, and Questions

Those were the rules for reported statements, just regular sentences.

What about reported speech for questions, requests, and orders?

For reported requests, we use “asked (someone) to do something”:

  • “Please make a copy of this report.” (direct speech)
  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. (reported speech)

For reported orders, we use “told (someone) to do something:”

  • “Go to the bank.” (direct speech)
  • “He told me to go to the bank.” (reported speech)

The main verb stays in the infinitive with “to”:

  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. She asked me  make  a copy of the report.
  • He told me to go to the bank. He told me  go  to the bank.

For yes/no questions, we use “asked if” and “wanted to know if” in reported speech.

  • “Are you coming to the party?” (direct)
  • He asked if I was coming to the party. (reported)
  • “Did you turn off the TV?” (direct)
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.” (reported)

The main verb changes and back shifts according to the rules and exceptions we learned earlier.

Notice that we don’t use do/does/did in the reported question:

  • She wanted to know did I turn off the TV.
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.

For other questions that are not yes/no questions, we use asked/wanted to know (without “if”):

  • “When was the company founded?” (direct)
  • She asked when the company was founded.” (reported)
  • “What kind of car do you drive?” (direct)
  • He wanted to know what kind of car I drive. (reported)

Again, notice that we don’t use do/does/did in reported questions:

  • “Where does he work?”
  • She wanted to know  where does he work.
  • She wanted to know where he works.

Also, in questions with the verb “to be,” the word order changes in the reported question:

  • “Where were you born?” ([to be] + subject)
  • He asked where I was born. (subject + [to be])
  • He asked where was I born.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Reported Speech (Part 2) Quiz

Learn more about reported speech:

  • Reported speech: Perfect English Grammar
  • Reported speech: BJYU’s

If you want to take your English grammar to the next level, then my Advanced English Grammar Course is for you! It will help you master the details of the English language, with clear explanations of essential grammar topics, and lots of practice. I hope to see you inside!

I’ve got one last little exercise for you, and that is to write sentences using reported speech. Think about a conversation you’ve had in the past, and write about it – let’s see you put this into practice right away.

Master the details of English grammar:

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Reported Speech

Direct speech and reported speech (indirect speech), reported speech table of contents:, overview and definitions, reporting verbs.

  • Using the word THAT

Reported speech – changes

Third person singular verbs, place and time expressions, tense backshift, no tense backshift, reporting questions, reporting orders and requests.

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses

Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All Tenses

  • She says we should go.
  • They told us to bring our stuff.
  • He asked them the time.
  • I  explained  the rules to her.

The word THAT

  • She says they are full = She says that they are full
  • I told them we could help = I told them that we could help
  • I suggest we start = I suggest that we start

How to report

So when reporting speech we must apply this rule., a list of common place and time expressions.

Do online exercises and download a free worksheet.

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reported speech here there now then

Reported Speech in English Grammar

Direct speech, changing the tense (backshift), no change of tenses, question sentences, demands/requests, expressions with who/what/how + infinitive, typical changes of time and place.

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Introduction

In English grammar, we use reported speech to say what another person has said. We can use their exact words with quotation marks , this is known as direct speech , or we can use indirect speech . In indirect speech , we change the tense and pronouns to show that some time has passed. Indirect speech is often introduced by a reporting verb or phrase such as ones below.

Learn the rules for writing indirect speech in English with Lingolia’s simple explanation. In the exercises, you can test your grammar skills.

When turning direct speech into indirect speech, we need to pay attention to the following points:

  • changing the pronouns Example: He said, “ I saw a famous TV presenter.” He said (that) he had seen a famous TV presenter.
  • changing the information about time and place (see the table at the end of this page) Example: He said, “I saw a famous TV presenter here yesterday .” He said (that) he had seen a famous TV presenter there the day before .
  • changing the tense (backshift) Example: He said, “She was eating an ice-cream at the table where you are sitting .” He said (that) she had been eating an ice-cream at the table where I was sitting .

If the introductory clause is in the simple past (e.g. He said ), the tense has to be set back by one degree (see the table). The term for this in English is backshift .

The verbs could, should, would, might, must, needn’t, ought to, used to normally do not change.

If the introductory clause is in the simple present , however (e.g. He says ), then the tense remains unchanged, because the introductory clause already indicates that the statement is being immediately repeated (and not at a later point in time).

In some cases, however, we have to change the verb form.

When turning questions into indirect speech, we have to pay attention to the following points:

  • As in a declarative sentence, we have to change the pronouns, the time and place information, and set the tense back ( backshift ).
  • Instead of that , we use a question word. If there is no question word, we use whether / if instead. Example: She asked him, “ How often do you work?” → She asked him how often he worked. He asked me, “Do you know any famous people?” → He asked me if/whether I knew any famous people.
  • We put the subject before the verb in question sentences. (The subject goes after the auxiliary verb in normal questions.) Example: I asked him, “ Have you met any famous people before?” → I asked him if/whether he had met any famous people before.
  • We don’t use the auxiliary verb do for questions in indirect speech. Therefore, we sometimes have to conjugate the main verb (for third person singular or in the simple past ). Example: I asked him, “What do you want to tell me?” → I asked him what he wanted to tell me.
  • We put the verb directly after who or what in subject questions. Example: I asked him, “ Who is sitting here?” → I asked him who was sitting there.

We don’t just use indirect questions to report what another person has asked. We also use them to ask questions in a very polite manner.

When turning demands and requests into indirect speech, we only need to change the pronouns and the time and place information. We don’t have to pay attention to the tenses – we simply use an infinitive .

If it is a negative demand, then in indirect speech we use not + infinitive .

To express what someone should or can do in reported speech, we leave out the subject and the modal verb and instead we use the construction who/what/where/how + infinitive.

Say or Tell?

The words say and tell are not interchangeable. say = say something tell = say something to someone

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ENGLISH GRAMMAR

REPORTED (Indirect) SPEECH - Time and Place

How to replace time and place words when changing from direct speech to reported speech..

  • “I am leaving tonight ” said Emma. → Emma said she was leaving that night .

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  • English Grammar
  • Reported Speech

Reported Speech - Definition, Rules and Usage with Examples

Reported speech or indirect speech is the form of speech used to convey what was said by someone at some point of time. This article will help you with all that you need to know about reported speech, its meaning, definition, how and when to use them along with examples. Furthermore, try out the practice questions given to check how far you have understood the topic.

reported speech here there now then

Table of Contents

Definition of reported speech, rules to be followed when using reported speech, table 1 – change of pronouns, table 2 – change of adverbs of place and adverbs of time, table 3 – change of tense, table 4 – change of modal verbs, tips to practise reported speech, examples of reported speech, check your understanding of reported speech, frequently asked questions on reported speech in english, what is reported speech.

Reported speech is the form in which one can convey a message said by oneself or someone else, mostly in the past. It can also be said to be the third person view of what someone has said. In this form of speech, you need not use quotation marks as you are not quoting the exact words spoken by the speaker, but just conveying the message.

Now, take a look at the following dictionary definitions for a clearer idea of what it is.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

Reported speech is a little different from direct speech . As it has been discussed already, reported speech is used to tell what someone said and does not use the exact words of the speaker. Take a look at the following rules so that you can make use of reported speech effectively.

  • The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you need not use any quotation marks as you are not using the exact words of the speaker.
  • You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech.
  • You can use verbs like said, asked, requested, ordered, complained, exclaimed, screamed, told, etc. If you are just reporting a declarative sentence , you can use verbs like told, said, etc. followed by ‘that’ and end the sentence with a full stop . When you are reporting interrogative sentences, you can use the verbs – enquired, inquired, asked, etc. and remove the question mark . In case you are reporting imperative sentences , you can use verbs like requested, commanded, pleaded, ordered, etc. If you are reporting exclamatory sentences , you can use the verb exclaimed and remove the exclamation mark . Remember that the structure of the sentences also changes accordingly.
  • Furthermore, keep in mind that the sentence structure , tense , pronouns , modal verbs , some specific adverbs of place and adverbs of time change when a sentence is transformed into indirect/reported speech.

Transforming Direct Speech into Reported Speech

As discussed earlier, when transforming a sentence from direct speech into reported speech, you will have to change the pronouns, tense and adverbs of time and place used by the speaker. Let us look at the following tables to see how they work.

Here are some tips you can follow to become a pro in using reported speech.

  • Select a play, a drama or a short story with dialogues and try transforming the sentences in direct speech into reported speech.
  • Write about an incident or speak about a day in your life using reported speech.
  • Develop a story by following prompts or on your own using reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written. Check them out.

  • Santana said that she would be auditioning for the lead role in Funny Girl.
  • Blaine requested us to help him with the algebraic equations.
  • Karishma asked me if I knew where her car keys were.
  • The judges announced that the Warblers were the winners of the annual acapella competition.
  • Binsha assured that she would reach Bangalore by 8 p.m.
  • Kumar said that he had gone to the doctor the previous day.
  • Lakshmi asked Teena if she would accompany her to the railway station.
  • Jibin told me that he would help me out after lunch.
  • The police ordered everyone to leave from the bus stop immediately.
  • Rahul said that he was drawing a caricature.

Transform the following sentences into reported speech by making the necessary changes.

1. Rachel said, “I have an interview tomorrow.”

2. Mahesh said, “What is he doing?”

3. Sherly said, “My daughter is playing the lead role in the skit.”

4. Dinesh said, “It is a wonderful movie!”

5. Suresh said, “My son is getting married next month.”

6. Preetha said, “Can you please help me with the invitations?”

7. Anna said, “I look forward to meeting you.”

8. The teacher said, “Make sure you complete the homework before tomorrow.”

9. Sylvester said, “I am not going to cry anymore.”

10. Jade said, “My sister is moving to Los Angeles.”

Now, find out if you have answered all of them correctly.

1. Rachel said that she had an interview the next day.

2. Mahesh asked what he was doing.

3. Sherly said that her daughter was playing the lead role in the skit.

4. Dinesh exclaimed that it was a wonderful movie.

5. Suresh said that his son was getting married the following month.

6. Preetha asked if I could help her with the invitations.

7. Anna said that she looked forward to meeting me.

8. The teacher told us to make sure we completed the homework before the next day.

9. Sylvester said that he was not going to cry anymore.

10. Jade said that his sister was moving to Los Angeles.

What is reported speech?

What is the definition of reported speech.

Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, is defined as “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.” The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as “speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person’s actual words.” According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as “the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words.” The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said.”

What is the formula of reported speech?

You can use the following formula to construct a sentence in the reported speech. Subject said that (report whatever the speaker said)

Give some examples of reported speech.

Given below are a few examples to show you how reported speech can be written.

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  • Reported Speech

Reported Speech: Whenever you are quoting someone else’s words , you use two kinds of speeches – Direct or Indirect speech . In this chapter, we will learn all about Direct and Indirect speech and how to convert one into another.

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Reported speech- how does it work.

Reported speech

Whenever you report a speech there’s a reporting verb used like “say” or “tell”. For example:

Direct speech: I love to play football .

Reported speech: She said that she loves to play football. (Note 1 : Assume a gender if not mentioned already. Note 2: Using “that” is optional. This sentence could also have been written as “She said she loves to play football.”)

The tense doesn’t have to be changed in this case of reported speech. But of the reporting verb is in the past tense , we do change the tense of the sentence.

Browse more Topics under Transformation Sentences

  • Active and Passive Voice
  • Parts of Speech
  • Types of Sentences

Reported speech- Play of the tenses:

Learn more about  Parts of Speech here in detail

This is a summary table that will be crystal clear to you as you read further. Just come back to this table after this section and use this as a summary table:

Some word transitions from direct to reported speech that will come in handy:

  • Will becomes would
  • Can becomes could
  • would stays would
  • should stays should
  • must stays must or had to(matter of choice)
  • shall becomes should

Exception : A present tense in direct speech may not become a past tense in the reported speech if it’s a fact or something generic we are talking about in the sentence. For example-

Direct speech: The sun rises from the East.

Reported speech: She said that the sun rises/rose from the East.

Reported speech- Handling questions:

What happens when the sentence we are trying to report was actually a question? That’s something we are going to deal with in this section. Reported questions- It’s quite interesting. let’s get into it:

Well the good news is that the tense change you learnt above stays the same in reported speech for questions. The only difference is that when you report a question, you no more report it in the form of a question but in the form of a statement. For example:

Direct speech: Where do you want to eat?

Reported speech: She asked me where I wanted to eat.

Notice how the question mark is gone from the reported speech. The reported speech is a statement now. Keep that in mind as you read further.

Remember the tense change? Let’s apply that to a few questions now.

Now these are questions that have wordy answers to them. What about the questions that has yes/no answers to them? In these type of questions just add “if” before asking the question. For example:

  • Direct speech: Would you like to eat some cupcakes?
  • Reported speech: He asked me if i would like to eat some cupcakes.
  • Direct speech: Have you ever seen the Van Gogh paintings?
  • Reported speech: She asked me if I had ever seen the Van Gogh paintings.
  • Direct speech: Are you eating your vegetables?
  • Reported speech: She asked if I was eating my vegetables.

Reported speech- Reported requests:

Well not all questions require answers. Some questions are polite requests. Remember? Could you please try to remember? And then there are request statements. Let’s see how do we convert these into reported speech.

Reported request = ask me + to + verb or requested me + to +verb

Just add this rule to your reported speech and you have what is called a reported request.

Reported speech- Reported orders:

Well, not everyone is going to be polite. Sometimes, we get orders. Now how will you report them? Unlike the request, the reporting verb isn’t ask but told or tell. Also, when in orders, sometimes subjects are omitted but while reporting we have to revive the subjects. Let’s see a few examples:

  • Direct speech: Sit down!
  • Reported speech: She told  me to sit down.
  • Direct speech: don’t worry!
  • Reported speech: She told me not to worry.

Reported speech- Time transitions:

With that, you have everything it takes to understand reported speech. you are all se to change the direct to reported speech. Go ahead and try a few examples. All the best!

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Transformation of Sentences

  • Active and Passive voice

37 responses to “Active and Passive voice”

Simple but very nice explanation and helpfull too.

What is the voice change of ” I have endeavoured to understand the fundamental truths.”

ENDEAVOUR HAS BEEN MADE BY ME TO UNDERSTAND THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH.

The fundamental truths have been endeavoured to be understood by me

The fundamental truths to understand had been endeavoured by him

The fundamental truths have endeavoured to be understood by me

The fundamental truths has been understood endeavoured to by me

How to change the voice for the following sentence – the books will be received by tomorrow

By whom? We need a subject. If the subject was for example “The library”, then the sentence in active voice would read “The library will receive the books by tomorrow”.

You will receive the books by tomorrow.

Tomorrow you will receive the book

You will receive the books (by) tomorrow.

Someone will receive the books by tomorrow

Tomorrow will be receive the books

HE WILL RECEIVE THE BOOKS BY TOMORROW.

By tomorrow the books will be received.

By tomorrow, you will receive the books

Tomorrow received the book

Change this “take right and turn left” into passive voice

Let the right be taken amd left be turned

‘amd’ is “and” 😅

You are advised to take right and turn left

Very helpful information thanks

Very well explained all basics that can lead to gain further knowledge very easily

What is in this box change into passive

what is the voice change of,” some people think nuclear is the best, because it doesnt add to global warming “….

Brilliant stuff!! – Rishabh

A kite was made by Ravi . What is the active form of this statement???

how to change into passive this sentence “when they were shifting the patient to the I.C.U.,he died

change into passive voice this sentence “when they were shifting the patient to I.C.U.,he died .

May you tell us tense conversion in voice.

Sentences without action like…. Jim is a doctor . Is it active or passive and if any how would you decide without having a main verb ?

It is named after the name of its principal tree ‘sundari'(passive)

how can ocean be object 🙄???

They made a bag

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Reported speech

Changing time and place in reported speech

Time and place must often change when going from direct to reported speech (indirect speech).

In general, personal pronouns change to the third person singular or plural, except when the speaker reports his own words: I/me/my/mine, you/your/yours = him/his/her/hers we/us/our/ours, you/your/yours = they/their/theirs

He said: "I like your new car." = He told her that he liked her new car. I said: "I'm going to my friend's house." = I said that I was going to my friend's house.

If we are in the same place when we report something, then we do not need to make any changes to  place words . But if we are in a different place when we report something, then we need to change the place words. Look at these example sentences:

  • He said: "It is cold in  here ." → He said that it was cold in  there .
  • He said: "How much is  this book ?" → He asked how much  the book was.

Here are some common place words, showing how you change them for reported speech:

Course Curriculum

  • Direct and indirect speech 15 mins
  • Tense changes in reported speech 20 mins
  • Changing time and place in reported speech 20 mins
  • Reported questions 20 mins
  • Reporting verbs 20 mins
  • Reporting orders and requests 15 mins
  • Reporting hopes, intentions and promises 20 mins

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  • Prepositions
  • Compound Words
  • Infinitives
  • Participles
  • Interchanges
  • Conjunctions
  • Interjections
  • Subject & Predicate
  • Phrasal Verbs
  • Sentence Patterns
  • Idioms and Phrases
  • Spot the Errors
  • Punctuations
  • American & British
  • Questions Tags
  • Reported Speech
  • Abbreviations & Acronyms
  • Rephrasing of Sentences
  • Syllabification
  • Types of Sentences
  • Direct & Indirect
  • Degrees of Comparison
  • Prefix & Suffixes
  • Figures of Speech
  • Relative Clause
  • REPORTED SPEECH
  • General Rules in Speech
  • Reported Speech Examples
  • Reported Speech Exercises
  • My Vote For Reported Speech
  • Good Average

What is Reported Speech

Definition :.

In order to report a dialogue, one should be well-versed in changing sentences from Direct Speech to Indirect Speech . Of course, we need not reproduce the actual words of the speaker exactly. We are more concerned with the sense of the utterance than in the literal repetition of the words. The following guidelines will help you to refresh what you have studied about the transformation of sentences from Direct to Indirect Speech.

Statements : When the utterance of the speaker is a statement we use the reporting verbs - say, tell. The conjunction used is - that . In order to preserve the original tone of the speaker ‘say’ or ‘tell’ can be replaced with:- suggest, agree, mutter, admit, insist, whisper, boast, state, remark, claim, object, protest, etc.

What are the differences between the direct speech and the indirect speech?

There are several differences between a sentence with direct speech and a sentence with indirect speech.

  • We no need to use quotation marks with indirect speech.
  • We have to change the tense of the verb.
  • We have to change the pronouns and determiners.

Some more examples .

We can replace ‘ tell ’ with the following verbs suited to the context: complained, stammered, sneered, snapped, explained, declared, announced, groaned, promised, gasped, conceded, etc.

Some Important Rules to Report the Dialogue:

Changes to be noted:

CHANGES IN:

A. pronouns:, c. expressions of time and place indicating nearness are changed into one of distance:, i. statements:, a. ordinary statements:.

In reported speech people often leave out the conjunction that .

b. When the reporting verb is in the present or future tense there is no change in the tense of the reported clause:

C. when the reporting verb is in the past tense the verb of the reported clause is changed into the corresponding past tense :, d. present progressive used as a future form becomes would be + present participle , not past progressive:, e. simple past / past progressive in adverb clauses of time do not usually change into the corresponding past tense :, f. unreal past tense (subjunctive mood) after wish / it is time remains unchange :, g. would rather / would sooner / had better remains unchanged :, h. verbs used in clauses expressing improbable or impossible condition remain unchanged :, i. when the direct speech expresses universal truth (fundamental truths of science) saying / provers / habitual action, the tense does not change :, j. a noun / pronoun in the vocative case is made the object of a reporting verb or left out:.

Likewise a comment clause (parenthesis) is left out

k. Words of expressions used juct to introduce a sentence are left out:

Well, very well, now, so etc.

l. A statement employing all the techniques:

Sentence with the same concept should be joined with ‘and’ but when there is a contract use ‘but’.  

II. QUESTIONS:

A. the reporting verbs for questions are:, b. auxiliary questions should begin with:, c. do / does / did questions:.

When using; do, does (present tense) - the main verb converts into the past (does / do go -> went) did (past tense) - the main verb converts into past perfect. (did go -> had gone)

d. The question form will change into a statement form:

E. w/h questions:.

These questions begin with a question word ( Who, What, When, Why, Where, How, How long ... ). While changing such a question into reported form we do not use any conjunction. We simply invert the word order (Verb + Subject is changed into Subject + Verb). Do not use if/whether in W/h Questions .

f. Verbal Questions:

These are questions begining with a verb. ( Are you ready? Is it true? ) Here we use the conjunction ‘ if’ or ‘whether ’. The word order is changed as mentioned earlier.

III. COMMANDS / ORDER / IMPERATIVE SENTENCES

To report a command we can use a number of verbs

Reporting Verb:

We use the conjunction ‘ to ’ . When the command is a negative one beginning with “Don’t” we change it to ‘not to’ .

Please - requested + whom + to + v

Exclamations

Exclamations can be reported with adverbs of manner.

a) Reporting Verb: exclaimed with (emotion) b) The exclamation should be changed into a statement. c) Use suitable emotions to the exclamation.  

The Participle

  • Participle uses
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  • What is a Pronoun?
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Learning Competency

Examples of back formation 1.Baby-sit (baby-sitter) 2.Gyre (gyroscope) 3.Edit (editor)

  • B1-B2 grammar

Reported speech: questions

Reported speech: questions

Do you know how to report a question that somebody asked? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Look at these examples to see how we can tell someone what another person asked.

direct speech: 'Do you work from home?' he said. indirect speech: He asked me if I worked from home. direct speech: 'Who did you see?' she asked. indirect speech: She asked me who I'd seen. direct speech: 'Could you write that down for me?' she asked. indirect speech: She asked me to write it down.

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 2: 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

A reported question is when we tell someone what another person asked. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech.

direct speech: 'Do you like working in sales?' he asked. indirect speech: He asked me if I liked working in sales.

In indirect speech, we change the question structure (e.g. Do you like ) to a statement structure (e.g. I like ).

We also often make changes to the tenses and other words in the same way as for reported statements (e.g. have done → had done , today → that day ). You can learn about these changes on the Reported speech 1 – statements page.

Yes / no questions

In yes / no questions, we use if or whether to report the question. If is more common.

'Are you going to the Helsinki conference?' He asked me if I was going to the Helsinki conference. 'Have you finished the project yet?' She asked us whether we'd finished the project yet.

Questions with a question word

In what , where , why , who , when or how questions, we use the question word to report the question.

'What time does the train leave?' He asked me what time the train left. 'Where did he go?' She asked where he went.

Reporting verbs

The most common reporting verb for questions is ask , but we can also use verbs like enquire , want to know or wonder .

'Did you bring your passports?' She wanted to know if they'd brought their passports. 'When could you get this done by?' He wondered when we could get it done by.

Offers, requests and suggestions

If the question is making an offer, request or suggestion, we can use a specific verb pattern instead, for example offer + infinitive, ask + infinitive or suggest + ing.

'Would you like me to help you?' He offered to help me. 'Can you hold this for me, please?' She asked me to hold it. 'Why don't we check with Joel?' She suggested checking with Joel.

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar B1-B2: Reported speech 2: 2

Language level

She offered me to encourage studying English. She asked us if we could give her a hand.

  • Log in or register to post comments

He said, "I wished she had gone."

How to change this sentence into indirect speech?

Hello bhutuljee,

'He said that he wished she had gone.'

Best wishes, Kirk LearnEnglish team

He said, "I wish she went."

How to change the above sentence into indirect speech?

Hi bhutuljee,

It would be: "He said that he wished she had gone."

LearnEnglish team

He said , "She wished John would succeed."

This is the third sentence you've asked us to transform in this way. While we try to offer as much help as we can, we are not a service for giving answers to questions which may be from tests or homework so we do limit these kinds of answers. Perhaps having read the information on the page above you can try to transform the sentence yourself and we will tell you if you have done it correctly or not.

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, I hope my comment finds you well and fine. 1- reported question of "where did he go?"

Isn't it: She asked where he had gone?

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/grammar/b1-b2-grammar/reported-…

2- how can I report poilte questions with( can I, May I) For example: She asked me" Can I borrow some money?"

Your reply will be highly appreciated.

Hello alrufai,

1) The version of the sentence you suggest is also correct. In informal situations, we often don't change the past simple into the past perfect, but in formal situations we do so more often.

2) 'can', 'may' and 'might' all become 'could' in reported questions like these: 'She asked if she could borrow some money.'

I wonder if there are any occasions we can't use "Why" for reported speech? I'm not sure for this one. Thank you

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reported speech here there now then

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Reported speech

Reported speech is how we represent the speech of other people or what we ourselves say. There are two main types of reported speech: direct speech and indirect speech.

Direct speech repeats the exact words the person used, or how we remember their words:

Barbara said, “I didn’t realise it was midnight.”

In indirect speech, the original speaker’s words are changed.

Barbara said she hadn’t realised it was midnight .

In this example, I becomes she and the verb tense reflects the fact that time has passed since the words were spoken: didn’t realise becomes hadn’t realised .

Indirect speech focuses more on the content of what someone said rather than their exact words:

“I’m sorry,” said Mark. (direct)
Mark apologised . (indirect: report of a speech act)

In a similar way, we can report what people wrote or thought:

‘I will love you forever,’ he wrote, and then posted the note through Alice’s door. (direct report of what someone wrote)
He wrote that he would love her forever , and then posted the note through Alice’s door. (indirect report of what someone wrote)
I need a new direction in life , she thought. (direct report of someone’s thoughts)
She thought that she needed a new direction in life . (indirect report of someone’s thoughts)

Reported speech: direct speech

Reported speech: indirect speech

Reported speech: reporting and reported clauses

Speech reports consist of two parts: the reporting clause and the reported clause. The reporting clause includes a verb such as say, tell, ask, reply, shout , usually in the past simple, and the reported clause includes what the original speaker said.

Reported speech: punctuation

Direct speech.

In direct speech we usually put a comma between the reporting clause and the reported clause. The words of the original speaker are enclosed in inverted commas, either single (‘…’) or double (“…”). If the reported clause comes first, we put the comma inside the inverted commas:

“ I couldn’t sleep last night, ” he said.
Rita said, ‘ I don’t need you any more. ’

If the direct speech is a question or exclamation, we use a question mark or exclamation mark, not a comma:

‘Is there a reason for this ? ’ she asked.
“I hate you ! ” he shouted.

We sometimes use a colon (:) between the reporting clause and the reported clause when the reporting clause is first:

The officer replied: ‘It is not possible to see the General. He’s busy.’

Punctuation

Indirect speech

In indirect speech it is more common for the reporting clause to come first. When the reporting clause is first, we don’t put a comma between the reporting clause and the reported clause. When the reporting clause comes after the reported clause, we use a comma to separate the two parts:

She told me they had left her without any money.
Not: She told me, they had left her without any money .
Nobody had gone in or out during the previous hour, he informed us.

We don’t use question marks or exclamation marks in indirect reports of questions and exclamations:

He asked me why I was so upset.
Not: He asked me why I was so upset?

Reported speech: reporting verbs

Say and tell.

We can use say and tell to report statements in direct speech, but say is more common. We don’t always mention the person being spoken to with say , but if we do mention them, we use a prepositional phrase with to ( to me, to Lorna ):

‘I’ll give you a ring tomorrow,’ she said .
‘Try to stay calm,’ she said to us in a low voice.
Not: ‘Try to stay calm,’ she said us in a low voice .

With tell , we always mention the person being spoken to; we use an indirect object (underlined):

‘Enjoy yourselves,’ he told them .
Not: ‘Enjoy yourselves,’ he told .

In indirect speech, say and tell are both common as reporting verbs. We don’t use an indirect object with say , but we always use an indirect object (underlined) with tell :

He said he was moving to New Zealand.
Not: He said me he was moving to New Zealand .
He told me he was moving to New Zealand.
Not: He told he was moving to New Zealand .

We use say , but not tell , to report questions:

‘Are you going now?’ she said .
Not: ‘Are you going now?’ she told me .

We use say , not tell , to report greetings, congratulations and other wishes:

‘Happy birthday!’ she said .
Not: Happy birthday!’ she told me .
Everyone said good luck to me as I went into the interview.
Not: Everyone told me good luck …

Say or tell ?

Other reporting verbs

The reporting verbs in this list are more common in indirect reports, in both speaking and writing:

Simon admitted that he had forgotten to email Andrea.
Louis always maintains that there is royal blood in his family.
The builder pointed out that the roof was in very poor condition.

Most of the verbs in the list are used in direct speech reports in written texts such as novels and newspaper reports. In ordinary conversation, we don’t use them in direct speech. The reporting clause usually comes second, but can sometimes come first:

‘Who is that person?’ she asked .
‘It was my fault,’ he confessed .
‘There is no cause for alarm,’ the Minister insisted .

Verb patterns: verb + that -clause

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reported speech here there now then

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Concourse 2

Reported or indirect speech

reporting

The first section mostly reiterates material in the initial training section and is here as a reminder of the basics.  You can skip this if you are already aware of the basic issues or have recently worked through the initial training section for this area. If that is the case, skim through what follows, and/or do the mini-test or use this menu to go to the area you need and then move on.  It's up to you.

At the end of each section, you can click on -top- to return to this menu, simply read on, scroll back or bookmark the page for another time.

In what follows, we are going to consider four sorts of utterances which are often reported:

  • Statements such as:     It is in the cupboard which are usually reported with that- clauses
  • Questions such as:     When did you go? which are usually reported with dependent wh -clauses
  • Exclamations such as:     What a lovely view! which are usually reported with wh -clauses
  • Commands such as:     Get this done today which are usually reported with to- infinitive clauses

On the left we have the direct speech – the words uttered. On the right we have reported or indirect speech – how the message is passed on.

On the face of it, there's nothing terribly difficult about this idea.  The tense shifts back one (from, e.g., was to had been, from can to could ) .  At the same time, I changes to he , we changes to they and so on. Here's a list of the changes in English.

A small but significant source of error in reporting in British English is that the intrusive got in, for example:     I have got enough money is dropped when the tense is backshifted so we get:     He said he had enough money However, when the structure is used to express either:

  • strong obligation as in:      I have got to go now the got may be retained and the reporting becomes:     He said he had got to go then
  • the sense of receive , as in:     I have got a letter from her the got may also be retained and the reporting becomes:     She said she had got a letter from her

Here's a definition:

The name given to those aspects of language whose interpretation is relative to the occasion of utterance Fillmore (1966) in Harman (1989)

It's an important phenomenon in this area because the use of deixis neatly explains a lot of the so-called anomalies of indirect speech.  Because meaning is dependent on the identity, point of view, time and location of the speaker / writer we are obliged (or not) to change, e.g., I to he or she, we to they , bring to come, come to go (and go to come ) , this to that, here to there, yesterday to the previous day, now to then, bring to take and so on. We make these changes because of a movement to the deictical centre.  This is usually I, now and here so we make changes to allow for this. There are three types of deixis which affect the way we report what people say:

  • Personal deixis: We change pronouns to reflect who is addressing whom so we report, e.g.:     "Will you please come early?" as any of      She asked me to come early     She asked him / her to come early     She asked you to come early     She asked them to come early     She asked [name(s)] to come early depending on the context of who was addressed.
  • we often need to change bring to take when reporting in another place.
  • we often need to change this to that and these to those (and vice versa )
  • Temporal deixis: When reporting times, we need to consider that most people will expect any utterance to be centred on now so we make the appropriate changes as in, e.g., reporting:     "I want to see you this afternoon" as     She asked to see me that afternoon and     "I'm leaving next year" as     She said she was leaving the following year if the reporting takes place much later.

In this regard, the following changes now make more sense:

Once again, we find that context makes meaning .

For more, there is a guide to deixis on this site, linked below, which includes a larger image of the wheel above and explains what it all means.

Of course, not all changes are always appropriate (but using the changes will usually be correct). If we are reporting something virtually simultaneously, then we often don't change the tense or time expressions.  If we are reporting something in the same place, then we don't change the place expressions. Another way of putting this is to refer to the encoding time (when the statement was made) and the decoding time (when the statement was reported).  If the encoding and decoding times are the same, few if any changes need to be made to time markers and tense forms. So we might get:     A: I'm going there now.     B: What did he say?     C: He said he's going there now However, if the encoding and decoding times are sufficiently separated, we do make changes accordingly so the exchange might end as:     He said he was going there then.

If an utterance remains true, we often don't change the tense so we get, e.g.,     I'm from South Africa = He said he's from South Africa     I love the countryside = She said she loves the countryside

Try this matching exercise to make sure you have understood so far.

Did you notice the changes, particularly with time and place expressions but also with the verb come (which changed to go )?

If you have followed so far, this will be familiar:

It's clear that we have examples of direct speech and indirect speech here in sentences 1, 4, 2 and 5 but Sentence 6 is what is called a hybrid form because the first part follows the 'rules' but the second part actually changes only the pronoun, from you to I . If the sentence followed the reported speech 'rules', it should be     He said I was welcome to come and asked if I would like to bring Mary which is another possibility, of course, but sounds quite formal.

Statements or declarative utterances are routinely reported using that- clauses as in, for example:

There are two things to notice even with the simplest type of reporting of direct statements.

  • The omission of that . All the examples in the table here include that .  However, it can be and routinely is omitted (something which, incidentally, is not allowed in some languages which have a parallel structure). When it is omitted, it is still, in technical terms a that- clause but referred to as a zero- that- clause, often written as Ø-that -clause . When the clause is short and concise, that is conventionally ellipted so most users of English will prefer:     She said it's OK rather than:     She said that it's OK However, if the utterance is structurally heavy, including multiple adverbials, subordinated and coordinated clauses and other modifiers, it is usually stylistically inappropriate to ellipt that .  For example, if we report:     Mary explained, "Up to now, I had always assumed the guy in the suit was the boss of the enterprise but now I see I was mistaken." we would normally include that in indirect speech and have:     Mary explained that she had up to then she had always assumed that the guy in the suit was the boss of the enterprise but now she saw that she was mistaken.
  • Reporting verbs. If we report something like:     "It's the switch on the left," explained Peter. we may choose to structure the report differently and simply have:     Peter explained which switch it was rather than the more tortuous:     Peter explained that it was the switch on the left. There is more on reporting verbs below.

Incidentally, the rule for ordering in direct speech is that you cannot reverse the verb and subject pronoun but you can reverse a noun or noun phrase subject and verb.  We allow, therefore:     "That's the bus," said John and     "That's the bus," John said and     "That's the bus," he said but     "That's the bus,", said he is now hopelessly archaic.

Closed questions are those which require a Yes or No response and they are usually reported with if or whether .  We get, therefore, for example:     Are you going to the cinema? reported as     He asked her if she was going to the cinema There is a bit more to it, however.

Consider what direct speech is being reported in the following.

  • I asked whether there were any good recipes in it.
  • I asked if there were any good recipes in it.
  • She wondered whether to go.
  • He asked whether or not they could come.

When you have done that, try reporting these sentences (from the point of view of later and elsewhere). Then click to reveal the comment .

  • “Are they English?” she asked
  • “Are they English?” he wondered
  • “I’m wondering whether to join you.” she said
  • "Can I talk to you?" asked Mary

You should have something like:

  • "Are there any good recipes in it?" I asked
  • "Shall I go?" she wondered / asked herself
  • "Can they come?" he enquired
  • She asked whether / if they were English
  • He wondered whether they were English
  • She was wondering whether to join us
  • She asked whether / if she could speak to me

In reporting a direct question, you can use if or whether interchangeably but if you are reporting someone's thoughts and doubts, only whether is usually the choice.

The other important thing to make sure that learners get right is the word ordering when reporting a question.  There are three issues to consider:

  • The word order in these clauses is the one we would expect for a normal declarative statement.  We have, e.g.:     I asked if he was coming not     *I asked if was he coming
  • The do, does, did operator which is used for forming questions in present and past simple tenses is not used in a reported question.  We have, e.g.:     I enquired if she worked in London not     *I enquired if did she work in London
  • There is no reversal of subject and object with primary or modal auxiliary verbs.  We have, e.g.:     He wondered if she could manage the project not     *He wondered if could she manage the project

Many languages do not work this way and the transfer from L 1 to L T often produces errors like:     *She asked were they English     *She wondered should she go     *They enquired whether did the train stop at Margate?

Questions phrased using wh- words: who, what, why, when, which, where, how cannot be predicted to have a Yes-No-Maybe answer. Questions formed in this way cannot be reported with if or whether .  The reporting is done by embedding the questions. This means that reporting this type of question requires a different word ordering from that used in reporting yes-no questions (see above) and that is non-intuitive.  Many learners, having struggled to get the word ordering of yes-no questions right, logically transfer the rule concerning not disturbing the natural word ordering to wh-question s with resulting error.  We can get, therefore:     *She asked me where is the station     *They enquired when are we coming     *She asked what did I do for a living etc.

Embedding is often associated with polite questioning so, instead of the direct:     Where is the station? we form polite embedded questions such as     Can you tell me where the station is?

So it is with reported questions.  Thus:

The tense chosen will often conform to the time and place of the reporting using the common-sense rules discussed above although back-shifting tenses where possible is common even when the reporting is virtually simultaneous.

The big issue for learners with this kind of reporting is the ordering of the subject and verb.  Most first languages will lead learners to produce errors such as:     *Can you tell me when is the film beginning?     *Do you know who is the lady there? etc. And this will also carry over to reported questions so we get:     *She asked me where is the zoo     *They enquired what time did the train leave and so on.

Other reporting verbs such as explain, clarify, complain, mention, remember and state will produce similar errors because the structures are parallel to reported questions in English but not parallelled in many other languages.  We may encounter, therefore:     *She explained how did the machine work     *They clarified what did they need     *I remembered where was I going

There is more on the quirky nature of some reporting verbs below.

If the direct question is formed with who, which or what with the verb be as part of the predicate, it is possible to disturb the word order outlined above.  For example, the following can be reported in two ways, like this:

However, the word ordering with the reversal of subject and verb is always correct, so, for teaching purposes, that is the way to go.  Your learners may, however, encounter this disturbance so it's as well to be prepared for it and note that it only occurs in the limited circumstances set out here.

The disturbed word order is, however, always conventional when the question involves be as a simple copula with an adjectival attribute.  So, for example:     Which is best? is reported as:     She asked which was best not as:     *She asked which best was

What are the rules for using that and what in reported speech?  Report the following using that or what if possible and then reveal the commentary .

  • "I am coming now."
  • "I don't know her name."
  • "What's your name?"
  • "My name is Mary."
  • "I will not go if it rains"

Rule 1: you can't use that in reporting questions or if -clauses. So we can have:     He said (that) he was coming then / is coming now     She said (that) she didn't / doesn't know her name     She said (that) her name is / was Mary but not:     *He asked that is her name     *She said she would not go that if it rained Rule 2: Conditional sentences may be back-shifted but that may not be used in them. At all other times, that can be dropped with no loss of sense, but some loss of formality. On the dropping or not of that with bridge and non-bridge verbs, see below. Rule 3: to report open questions , we have choices.  We can't use that but we can, with a change to an embedded question, use what :     He asked her her name / He asked her what her name was but not, usually:     ?He asked her what was her name

As we saw in part 1 of this guide, tense shifting is common in English and it is rarely wrong to do it.  However:

  • If the reporting verb is in the present, we don't shift tenses.  So we get     She often says, "I don't know what to do" changing to     She often says she doesn't know what to do     "There was a nasty accident here last night," John informs me changing to     John tells me there was a nasty accident here / there last night. (Note that last night does not change because the reporting is of a recent utterance.)
  • If the validity of what was said still holds.  For example:     Darwin wrote, "There is grandeur in this view of life." changes to      Darwin wrote that there is grandeur in this view of life. not to     Darwin wrote that there was grandeur in this view of life
  • Although back-shifting could be used in all the above examples, there are rare times when it actually produces nonsense.  Try reporting     "I chose to study French because it was a beautiful language." Will you accept     He said he had chosen to study French because it had been a beautiful language ?

We saw above that question forms are reported differently from statements.  How would you report these?  Click here to reveal some comments .

  • "What awful weather!" she exclaimed.
  • "Stop fidgeting!" she said to John.
  • "Stop fidgeting," she growled.

Sentence 19 could be rendered as     She exclaimed / said / remarked loudly what awful weather it was . It can't be reported without a change of grammar. Sentence 20 can be reported as     She told John to stop fidgeting but ... Sentence 21 can't be reported this way.  It has to be something like     She growled at John to stop fidgeting Note that we have to insert the object here.

Essentially, there are three types.  Can you categorise this list into three groups?  Click to reveal , as usual.

The simple reporting verbs in the left-hand column often require only the deixis, pronoun and tense shifts covered in this guide.  So we can have, e.g.:

strength

in which the verbs are arranged in relation to the strength of the statement made so, for example:     "I must have the steak," she said could be reported as:     She insisted on having the steak and     "I'd like the steak," she said as     She said she'd like the steak but     "I wonder if I might have the steak," she said as     She enquired whether she could have the steak This has some pedagogical utility, of course, because it gives learners a way of understanding the connotations of the verbs. However, the categories are not unarguable and people will put different verbs in different boxes.  It is a rule of thumb at best.

Some reporting verbs are used to report an embedded or fronted comment clause so, for example, something like:     "She is, as you well know, quite capable." may be reported as:     He insisted that I knew that she was quite capable. Other comment clauses such as in:     "Well, to be honest, I don't have a clue." and     "As you know, I've been living here for years." may be reported using an appropriate reporting verb but maintaining the adverbial as:     He explained that he honestly didn't have a clue. or as:     He reminded me that he had been living there for years.

There is a difference in the way that such clauses are reported depending on the role of the disjunct adverbial.

  • Style disjuncts express the speaker / writer's view of what is being expressed and how it should be understood.  So, for example:     "Seriously, I don't think it will arrive in time." expresses how the speaker wishes to be understood and may be reported as:     She seriously doubted whether it would arrive in time.
  • Attitude disjuncts indicate how generally the speaker wants to be understood or what limitations apply and they are reported using the same disjuncts usually (so are considerably easier to form).  For example:     "More or less, that's the same conclusion I arrived at." and      "Administrationally, this is quite a simple matter." can be reported simple as:     He said that it was more or less the same conclusion he had arrived at. and     She said it was administrationally quite a simple matter.

Purely for information, there's a PDF of a list of reporting verbs in English list which considers the syntactical restraints concerned with them.  The list also includes some consideration of the functions of reporting verbs and categorises them accordingly. Click to download a list of reporting verbs . Don't try to teach them all at once!

There is also a guide to the kinds of reporting verbs used in academic writing, linked below, which contains a list of over 150 verbs such as state, aver, suggest, discount, dismiss, investigate etc.

The issue here is whether one can omit the word that from a reported statement. The theoretical distinction is between what are called bridge verbs and non-bridge verbs.  Many simple reporting verbs verbs such as say, tell, think, know, write, claim and hear are bridge verbs and it is perfectly in order to omit the word that when they are followed by a clause so we allow both:     He said that he was coming tomorrow     John thinks that it's too expensive     She claims that she lost the money etc. and:     He said he was coming tomorrow     John thinks it's too expensive     She claims she lost the money Many find (that) the sentences without that are more stylistically acceptable.

However, some verbs, exemplified above with verbs like cry, sneer and shout , refer not only to what was said but to how it was said and these are often non-bridge verbs and leaving out that results in clumsiness at best.  For example, many people find:     She shouted she was coming     She whispered the chairman was drunk     He lied he was married     They acknowledged coming late was rude are all clumsy or even wrong and should be expressed with that as:     She shouted that she was coming     She whispered that the chairman was drunk     He lied that he was married     They acknowledged that coming late was rude In general terms, the less common and more loaded reporting verbs require that when followed by a clause . Here are some examples of how non-bridge verbs are used when reporting:

In all those case where we choose to follow the reporting verb with a clause, the insertion of that is almost obligatory. In the last case, not including that results in:     The minister conceded having long periods of unemployment made it difficult to get work in the future which forces the hearer to reconsider who has long periods of unemployment.

In academic writing simple verbs are often avoided for the sake of style or precision and less frequently used so non-bridge verbs are usually preferred.  For example:      Guru confirms that the results are reliable     He acknowledged that the experiment was flawed     The findings indicate that there is a need for ...     She emphasises that findings are provisional all sound clumsy without that .

bridge and non-bridge verbs

Clause length is a factor which tends to override the omission of that even with simple reporting verbs so while, for example:     I said, without much optimism based on his previous track record, he would come is correct and the omission of that is acceptable, most native speakers would insert it to signal the subordinate clause as:     I said, without much optimism based on his previous track record, that he would come

The categories are not watertight but once a learner has decided on a speaker's intentions in terms of the function of what was said (rather than the form), it becomes a good deal simpler to select an appropriate reporting verb providing, of course, that the structural constraints which apply to many of them are understood, too. Should you wish it, that list is included in the list of reporting verbs with the colligational characteristics, available here .

Reporting verbs for true questions form a restricted set which is straightforward to teach.  Almost a complete list is:     ask, enquire, want to know, wonder For example:

However, question forms also routinely perform other functions than asking for information and when this happens, other reporting verbs are necessary to reflect the illocutionary force of the utterance. Like this:

As with much in language, we have to look at the function, not the form, to decide on the right way to report the words.

Colligation with reporting verbs is something of a headache for learners of English and there are numerous constraints and possibilities. Reporting verbs can be categorised by what they may be followed by and it is certainly not intuitive to understand, for example, that we can say:     He confirmed that I had passed but we cannot say:     *He congratulated that I passed Here are some of the common issues.  For a list of reporting verbs and their grammatical constraints and possibilities, download the PDF file from the link above or at the end.

There are times when the source of something said or written is obscure, unknown or unimportant and others when we wish to disguise the source and in these cases a passive clause construction with the dummy it comes to the rescue. In academic texts the structure is also used to cite something so well known in a field of enquiry that it needs no sourcing. For example:     It has been suggested that ...     It is often questioned whether ...     It has been asked whether ...     It is generally reckoned that ... and so on. These constructions are not difficult to teach and are communicatively very useful ways of avoiding the need to say who said or wrote something.

Sometimes, we can use the same kind of passive construction without the dummy pronoun when the source of what has been said or written is unknown, absent or unimportant.  For example:     She has been told to ...     I have often be accused of ...     They are said to be ...     The house is reputed to be ... etc.

At other times, we may wish to emphasise the source of a statement and the passive is also used in this way, of course, so we may encounter, for example:     I have been accused by Mary of ...     She has been asked by the boss to ...     The comment has been made by the department head that ... and so on.

Modal auxiliary verbs are frequently defective insofar as some have no tense forms at all, some have past and future forms which use a different verb altogether and some only have tense forms in certain meanings.  It is a complicated area.  (For more, follow some of the guides from the index of modality.)

There is nothing very difficult about the form of reported speech changes (providing a learner is already familiar with the tense forms of English).  However:

  • Because of the 'common sense' issues touched on above, you need to make sure that the language is very clearly set in a time-and-place context.
  • It is almost impossible to practise the form changes in class by getting students to report each other's utterances because time and place remain static.  You need to spread the practice over time and place to be authentic.
  • You need to make sure that learners are aware of the common-sense issues and don't slavishly transform every utterance.
  • Languages deal with the issues differently.  Some, for example, reserve a subjunctive tense for reported speech and some hardly make any changes at all.

Teaching the mechanics of indirect speech is not too challenging providing the learners have a grasp of the tense forms and pronoun systems but one does need to address different forms separately or it all becomes a mass of data that bewilders learners. A sensible approach is to apply the analysis as above, focusing on reporting declarative statements, yes-no questions, open, wh- questions, exclamations, orders and so on separately before making any attempt to combine ideas.

Here's an idea for teaching indirect speech and still applying the common-sense rules.

1

Obviously, this is contrived and artificial to some extent but it is personalised and situates the language temporally and spatially.  It is certainly better than meaningless sentence-transformation exercises.

Because the word order when reporting questions and using a number of the reporting verbs is a common source of error, it is worth practising separately.  Fortunately, the use of back-shifting, even for virtually simultaneous reporting, is also common so there is less need to set up delayed reporting.

3

  • You have to teach the forms before you can launch into this kind of practice and
  • The questions may well be mixes of wh- questions and closed questions so the reporting will include formulations such as     He asked you why you became a teacher and     She asked you if / whether you enjoy teaching

You can set up the task to exclude one or other type of question, of course, but that's a lot less natural.

Reporting verbs in English need careful handling and there are a number of issues:

  • Grammatical / Colligational issues We saw above that these verbs vary considerably in the constructions they can appear in. When deciding on a set of reporting verbs to teach, therefore, it makes sense to focus on those which are colligates and share structural characteristics or we risk encouraging error rather than helping our learners to avoid it. The simplest way to start is to take common verbs which can be followed by that clauses (i.e., most of them) before getting into other complications. Even at higher levels, it makes sense to select sets of verbs which take the same structural forms in the following clauses.
  • Attitudinal issues Above, we divided reporting verbs into three classes: tentative, neutral and assertive. While this is a rather crude categorisation (and the diagram was meant to alert you to the fact that there is a cline rather than a simple three-part division), it has some utility as far as classroom approaches are concerned because it provides a memorable hook on which to hang the verbs.
  • Stylistic issues Some reporting verbs are rare and more formal in style or, sometimes, rarer and quite colloquial. We need, therefore, to alert learners to the stylistic differences between, e.g.:     She enquired how he felt and     She asked how he was because learners need these kinds of data to be able to use the words naturally. We also need to remember the distinction between bridge and non-bridge verbs and the effect of dropping or including that .

Click here for the test .

References: Chalker, S, 1987, Current English Grammar , London: Macmillan Harman, I P, 1989, Teaching indirect speech: deixis points the way, English Language Teaching Journal, Volume 44, No 3, pp230-238, Oxford: Oxford University Press

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Reported Speech: Definition, Rules, Usage with Examples, Tips, Exercises for Students

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  • Updated on  
  • Jan 10, 2024

Reported Speech

Reported Speech: Reported Speech or also known as indirect speech, is typically used to convey what has been said by someone at a particular point of time. However, owing to the nuances of the systems involved, English grammar may be a complicated language to learn and understand. But once you get hold of the grammar fundamentals , you can be a pro. It’s these fundamentals that will help you create a solid base. The rest of the journey becomes much easier once you get a good grip on the english grammar for competitive exams . So, today, we’re going to talk about one of those basics that is an important part of English grammar, i.e., Reported Speech with multiple definition, usage with examples and numerous practise exercicses.

This Blog Includes:

What is reported speech, definition of reported speech, reported speech rules, rules for modal verbs, rules for pronouns, rules for change in tenses, rules for changing statements into reported speech, rules for changing interrogative sentences into reported speech, rules for changing commands and requests into indirect speech, tips to practise reported speech, fun exercises for reported speech with answers.

When we use the exact words spoken by someone, it is known as Direct Speech or Reported Speech. Reporting speech is a way to effectivley communication something that has been spoken, usually in the past, by the speaker. It is also possible to describe it from the speaker’s perspective from the third person. Since you are only communicating the message and are not repeating the speaker’s exact words, you do not need to use quotation marks while using this type of speaking.

For example: Rita said to Seema, “ I am going to bake a cake ”

Here we are using the exact words spoken by Rita, however, reported or Indirect speech is used when we are reporting something said by someone else but we do not use the exact words. So, we use this form of speech to talk about the past. For example:

Rita told Seema that she was going to bake a cake

In this case, we haven’t used the exact words of Rita but conveyed her message.

Difference Between Reporting Clause and Reported Speech

The words that come before the inverted commas are known as the reporting clause, in the example given above, the reporting clause will be – Rita said to Seema, where ‘said’ is the verb and is known as the reporting clause/verb . The words written within the inverted commas are known as the Reported speech, in the above example, the reported speech is “I am going to bake a cake” .

Also Read:  55+ Phrases with Meaning to Boost Your Vocabulary

Here are some common definitions of reported speech for your reference:

➡️ An Oxford Learner’s Dictionary definition of reported speech is “a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.”

➡️ Reporter speech is described as “speech which tells you what someone said but does not use the person’s actual words” by the Collins Dictionary.

➡️ “The act of reporting something that was said, but not using the same words,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary.

➡️ Reported speech is defined as “the words that you use to report what someone else has said” by the Macmillan Dictionary.

Also Read: Adjective: Definition, Usage, Example, Forms, Types

Now let us take a look at the rules for changing direct speech to indirect or reported speech –

➡️ First and foremost, we do not use inverted commas in reported speech which must be clear from the example given above.

➡️ We use conjunctions like ‘if’, and ‘whether’ after the reporting verb in reported speech

➡️ The reporting verb’s tense is never altered.

➡️ The verb of reporting varies according to sense: it can be told, inquired, asked, etc.

For example: Direct : Mohan said to Sohan, “I am going to school” Reported : Mohan told Sohan that he is going to school

Also Read:  Useful Idioms for IELTS Exams That Will Boost Your Score

Modal words are used to show a sense of possibility, intent, necessity or ability. Some common examples of verbs can include should, can and must. These words are used to express hypothetical conditions. Check the table of contents below for rules with examples of modal verbs.

Also Read: Direct and Indirect Speech Exercises With Answers for Class 12

Listed below are some common rules followed in pronouns using reported speech:

✏️ We change the first-person pronouns (I, my, us, our, me, we) as per the subject of the reporting verb in the reported speech. ✏️ We change the second-person pronouns (you, your, yourself) as per the object of the reporting verb in the reported speech. ✏️ There is no change in the third-person pronouns.

For example:

Direct : Rita said, “I like the book.” Reported : Rita said that she likes the book.

Direct : Arun said to me, “Do you like to eat cakes?” Reported : Arun asked me if I liked eating cakes.

Direct : Ravi said, “I enjoy fishing.” Reported : Ravi said that he enjoys fishing.

Also Read: Reported Speech Interrogative: Rules, Examples & Exercise

Here are some common ruled used for change in tenses:

✏️ The tense of the reported speech is not changed if the reporting verb is in the present or the future tense. ✏️ If a historical fact, a universal reality or a habitual fact is conveyed in a direct speech. The indirect speech tense will not change. ✏️ If the reporting verb is in the past tense, then it will change the tense of the reported speech as follows:

Direct : Reema says, “I am going out.” Reported : Reema says that she is going out.

Direct : Ramesh said, “Honesty is the best policy.” Reported : Ramesh said that honesty is the best policy.

Direct : Vishnu said that, “India gained independence in 1947.” Reported : Vishnu said that India gained independence in 1947.

Direct : Akshat will say, “I want a slice of cake.” Reported : Akshat will say that he wants a slice of cake.

Direct : Reena said, “I am writing a novel.” Reported : Reena said that she was writing a novel.

Direct : Ayushi said, “I was working on my project.” Reported : Ayushi said that she had been working on her project.

Also Read: Exploring the Types of Reported Speech: A Complete Guide

Here are some common rules for changing statements into reported speech:

✏️ The “said to” reporting verb is changed to “told,” “replied,” “remarked,” ✏️ We do not change the object i.e., the reporting verb is not followed by an object. ✏️ We drop the inverted commas and use a conjunction to join the reporting clause and speech/ ✏️ The laws are followed for the changing of pronouns, tenses, etc.

Direct: Ramu said, “I saw a lion in the forest.” Indirect: Ramu said that he had seen a lion in the forest.

Direct : Satish said to me, “I am very happy here.” Indirect : Satish told me that he was very happy there.

Direct : He said, “I can do this work.” Indirect: He said that he could do that work.

50 Examples of Direct and Indirect Speech Interrogative Sentences

Here are some common rules followed for changing interrogative sentences into reported speech:

✏️ The reporting verb “say” is transformed into “ask, inquire,” ✏️ By inserting the subject before the verb, the interrogative clause is converted into a declaration and the full stop is inserted at the end of the sentence. ✏️ The wh-word is repeated in the sentence if the interrogative sentence has a wh-word (who, where, where, how, why, etc). This works as a conjunction. ✏️ If the asking phrase is a yes-no answer style phrase (with auxiliary verbs are, were, were, do, did, have, shall, etc.), then if or whether is used as a conjunction. ✏️ In the reported speech, the auxiliaries do, did, does drop in a positive question. ✏️ The conjunction after the reporting clause is not used.

Direct: I said to him, “Where are you going?” Indirect: Tasked him where he was going.

Direct: He said to me, “Will you go there?” Indirect: He asked me if I would go there.

Direct: My friend said to Deepak, “Have you ever been to Agra?” Indirect: My friend asked Deepak if he had ever been to Agra.

How to Change Sentences into Indirect Speech

The reporting verb is changed into command, order, say, enable, submit, etc. in imperative sentences that have commands.

✏️ By positioning it before the verb, the imperative mood is converted into the infinitive mood. The auxiliary ‘do’ is dropped in the case of negative sentences, and ‘to’ is substituted after ‘not

Direct: She said to me, “Open the window.” Indirect: She ordered me to open the window.

Direct: The captain said to the soldiers, “Attack the enemy.” Indirect: The captain commanded the soldiers to attack the enemy.

Direct: I said to him, “Leave this place at once.” Indirect: I told him to leave that place at once.

Also Read: Direct And Indirect Speech Questions

Indirect speech, sometimes referred to as reported speech, is used to communicate ideas without directly quoting another person. The following advice will help you become proficient in reported speech:

👉 Understand the Basics : Ensure you have a solid understanding of direct speech (quoting exact words) before moving on to reported speech.

👉 Identify Reporting Verbs : Recognize common reporting verbs such as “say,” “tell,” “ask,” “inform,” etc. These verbs are often used to introduce reported speech.

👉 Practice with Various Tenses : Work on reported speech with different tenses (present, past, future) to become comfortable with each.

👉 Use Reporting Words Appropriately : Experiment with different reporting words to convey the speaker’s attitude or emotion accurately. For example, “complain,” “admit,” “suggest.”

👉 Write Dialogues : Create dialogues and convert them into reported speech. This will help you practice both creating and transforming speech.

👉 Use Authentic Materials : Practice reported speech by reading books, articles, or watching videos. Try to convert the direct speech in these materials into reported speech.

Here are a few exercises for reported speech along with answers:

Change the following sentences from direct speech to reported speech.

  • Answer: She said that she loved watching movies.
  • Answer: He told me not to forget to buy some milk on my way home.
  • Answer: Peter said that he would visit his grandparents the following weekend.
  • Answer: She announced that she had finished her homework.
  • Answer: They exclaimed that they were going to the beach the next day.

Reported Speech Exercises For Class 9

Combine the following sentences into reported speech.

  • Answer: Mary said that she was going to the store because she needed some groceries.
  • Answer: He remarked that it was raining outside.
  • Answer: She explained that she couldn’t attend the meeting because she had a doctor’s appointment.
  • Answer: They assured us that they would finish the project by Friday.
  • Answer: He admitted that he had never been to Paris.

Transform the sentences into reported speech.

  • Answer: She asked why I was late.
  • Answer: He requested me to help him with that heavy box.
  • Answer: She inquired if I could pass her the salt.
  • Answer: The guide told the visitors not to touch the paintings.
  • Answer: He said that he must finish that report that day.

Direct And Indirect Speech Questions: Comprehensive Guide with Examples

Reporting speech is the way we present our own or other people’s words. Direct speech and indirect speech are the two primary categories of reported speech. Direct communication restates the speaker’s precise words or their words as we recall them: “I didn’t realize it was midnight,” Barbara remarked.

The speech that is being reported may be declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, or imperative.

Quote marks are not used when putting the speaker’s words or ideas into a sentence in reported speech. Typically, noun clauses are employed. When reading a reported speech, the reader should not assume that the words are exactly what the speaker said; frequently, they are paraphrased.

The reported speech can be Assertive/Declarative, Imperative, Interrogative, and Exclamatory.

We hope that this blog helped you learn about the basics of Reported Speech. Planning for English proficiency exams like IELTS or TOEFL ? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you through your exam preparation with the best guidance, study materials and online classes! Sign up for a free demo with us now!

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An Explosive Hearing in Trump’s Georgia Election Case

Fani t. willis, the district attorney, defended her personal conduct as defense lawyers sought to disqualify her from the prosecution..

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In tense proceedings in Georgia, a judge will decide whether Fani T. Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, and her office should be disqualified from their prosecution of former President Donald J. Trump.

Richard Fausset, a national reporter for The Times, talks through the dramatic opening day of testimony, in which a trip to Belize, a tattoo parlor and Grey Goose vodka all featured.

On today’s episode

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Richard Fausset , a national reporter for The New York Times.

Fani Willis is pictured from the side sitting behind a witness stand. She wears a pink dress.

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With everything on the line, Ms. Willis delivered raw testimony .

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Senior US official warns of security threat amid reports of Russian nuclear capability in space

Republican House intelligence chair, Mike Turner, says Biden officials should declassify information about threat, while House speaker Mike Johnson says there was no need for panic

The head of the House intelligence committee, Mike Turner, has called for the Biden administration to declassify information on what he called a “serious national security threat”, which was later reported to involve Russian plans to deploy nuclear weapons in space.

In his statement, Turner, an Ohio Republican, gave no details about the supposed security threat.

Talking to reporters at the White House later on Wednesday, the national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, expressed surprise at Turner’s statement saying he was due to meet the “gang of eight” (congressional leaders with special security clearance for classified briefings) on Thursday. But Sullivan did not give any details of the planned meeting.

ABC News and the New York Times cited unnamed sources as saying that the security threat Turner was referring to involved Russia’s potential deployment of a nuclear anti-satellite weapon in space. The New York Times said US allies had also been briefed on the intelligence, which was not deemed to represent an urgent threat, as the alleged Russian capability was still in development.

It is not clear whether the new intelligence alert is connected to a Russian launch on 9 February of a Soyuz rocket carrying a classified defence ministry payload.

“Russia has been conducting several experiments with manoeuvring satellites that might be designed to sabotage other satellites,” Hans Kristensen, director of the nuclear information project at the Federation of American Scientists, said. He pointed out that any such deployment of nuclear weapons in space would violate the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, to which Moscow is a signatory.

“The issue is not so much about an increased nuclear weapons threat per se but that it would increase the threat against other countries’ space-based nuclear command and control assets. It would be highly destabilising.”

Pavel Podvig, an expert on Russian nuclear forces , said: “I am very skeptical (to put it mildly). Unfortunately, it’s impossible to categorically rule out anything these days. But still, I don’t think it’s plausible.”

Kristensen suggested that a Russian threat to put nuclear weapons in space, thus destroying yet another non-proliferation treaty, could be the latest in a long line of Vladimir Putin’s moves designed to add to pressure on the US and its allies to end their military support for Ukraine.

Daryl Kimball, the head of the Arms Control Association, said a nuclear anti-satellite weapon made little practical sense.

“You don’t need a nuclear weapon to blow up a satellite in orbit. All objects in space are so delicate, that you can do something with much less than a nuclear detonation,” Kimball said. “Plus, it’s completely illegal.”

The House speaker, Mike Johnson, said there was no need for panic over the alleged, unnamed threat. He said he was not allowed to discuss classified information but told reporters: “We just want to assure everyone steady hands are at the wheel. We’re working on it and there’s no need for alarm.”

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‘A nightmare’: Special counsel’s assessment of Biden’s mental fitness triggers Democratic panic

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden sidestepped any criminal charges as the investigation into his handling of classified documents concluded, but the political blowback from the special counsel’s report Thursday could prove even more devastating, reinforcing impressions that he is too old and impaired to hold the highest office.

Special counsel Robert Hur’s portrait of a man who couldn’t remember when he served as Barack Obama’s vice president, or the year when his beloved son Beau died, dealt a blow to Biden’s argument that he is still sharp and fit enough to serve another four-year term.

In deciding not to charge Biden with any crimes, the special counsel wrote that in a potential trial, “Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview with him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory.”

It was tough enough for Biden to reassure voters about his health before Hur’s report hit like a thunderclap Thursday afternoon, prompting members of his own party to question whether he could remain the nominee in November.

“It’s a nightmare,” said a Democratic House member who asked to speak anonymously to provide a frank assessment, adding that “it weakens President Biden electorally, and Donald Trump would be a disaster and an authoritarian.”

“For Democrats, we’re in a grim situation.”

Biden wasted little time before attempting to minimize the fallout. He held an unexpected exchange with reporters in the White House on Thursday night, in which he disputed Hur's assessment of his mental acuity.

Biden grew emotional when invoking the part of the report addressing the date of his son's death.

"How in the hell dare you raise that?" Biden said. "Frankly, when I was asked the question I thought to myself, 'It wasn't any of their damn business.' "

‘Beyond devastating’

Polling has long shown that age looms as Biden’s greatest liability in his expected rematch with Trump. A January poll by NBC News found that 76% of voters have major or moderate concerns about Biden’s mental and physical health.

“It’s been a problem since way before this ever happened,” said a longtime Democratic operative who noted that when focus groups are asked to apply one word to Biden, it is often “old.”

Just this week, Biden twice referred to conversations he’s had as president with foreign leaders who’ve long since died. In his remarks Thursday night defending his competency, while talking about the war in Gaza, he referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi as being the head of Mexico. White House press aides have downplayed such lapses as the sort of mistake anyone in public life can make.

The Hur report strips away the defenses that Biden’s press operation has used to protect him and raises fresh doubts about whether Biden is up to the rigors of the presidency, Democratic strategists said in interviews.

“This is beyond devastating,” said another Democratic operative, speaking on condition of anonymity to talk candidly about Biden’s shortcomings. “It confirms every doubt and concern that voters have. If the only reason they didn’t charge him is because he’s too old to be charged, then how can he be president of the United States?”

Asked if Hur’s report changes the calculus for Democrats who expect Biden to be the party’s nominee, this person said: “How the f--- does it not?”

Another Biden ally called it “the worst day of his presidency.”

“I think he needs to show us this is a demonstrably false characterization of him and that he has what it takes to win and govern.”

Biden has overwhelmingly won the first primary contests — notching victories in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. It would be virtually impossible for anyone else to challenge him at this point; the deadline has passed in more than 30 states to get on primary ballots.

Some of the president’s allies were quick to defend him. They pointed to the timing of the interview with the special counsel — days after Hamas’ attack on Israel, which had captured much of the president’s focus. Others said that in their own dealings with Biden, he shows no sign of infirmity.

“He did so well in this discussion with members,” Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., told NBC News after seeing the president on Thursday. “He’s very sharp, no memory issues, and his only stumbling is when he trips over words consistent with his lifelong speech impediment.”

‘Prejudicial language’

Though Biden was fortunate to escape indictment, the special counsel report may give Trump additional fodder as he fights charges for allegedly mishandling classified records at his Mar-a-Lago social club. Republicans are already accusing Biden of benefiting from a double standard . Trump will likely brandish the Hur report as proof that Biden has “weaponized” the Justice Department for political advantage.

What’s more, Democrats will now be hard-pressed to capitalize on Trump’s indictment over retaining classified records. Before Hur’s report came out, Democrats argued that the two cases were very different. Whereas Trump failed to turn over classified records even after he was asked to do so, Biden willingly cooperated with authorities and relinquished all the material he had, Biden allies had argued.

“The public understands the essential difference between presidents or vice presidents like Joe Biden who occasionally behaved in sloppy ways with respect to where they were taking documents, and a president like Trump, who deliberately makes off with hundreds of classified government documents and then hides them and refuses to return them,” Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said on Wednesday, before the report was released. (Trump has denied any wrongdoing.)

Now, the distinctions may be harder for Biden allies to draw, given that Hur wrote that there was evidence Biden “willfully retained and disclosed classified material after his vice presidency when he was a private citizen.”

The report mentions an instance in February 2017, when he was no longer vice president, when Biden read notes containing classified information “nearly verbatim” to a ghostwriter helping him with his book, “Promise Me, Dad.”

Storage of sensitive government secrets was haphazard. The report describes certain classified records involving the war in Afghanistan in Biden’s Delaware garage inside a “badly damaged box surrounded by household detritus.”

Before the report was released, Biden aides had been bracing for a finding that he had simply been careless in his treatment of classified records, a person familiar with the White House’s thinking said.

The political fallout from the report, though, is likely to be “worse,” this person said. What will stick in people’s minds is what Hur said about Biden’s memory, the person added.

Biden’s lawyers disputed the report’s description of Biden’s forgetfulness.

“We do not believe that the report’s treatment of President Biden’s memory is accurate or appropriate,” two of his lawyers wrote in a letter to Hur. “The report uses highly prejudicial language to describe a commonplace occurrence among witnesses: a lack of recall of years-old events.”

In the hours after the report was released, people close to the Biden campaign rolled out a different rebuttal. Jim Messina, who ran Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that Hur is a Republican who “knew exactly how his swipes could hurt Biden politically.”

That’s a familiar argument. Trump has also claimed that law enforcement is trying to sway the election, meaning both sides are now claiming victimization at the hands of partisan prosecutors.

“Hur knew exactly what he was doing here,” Stephanie Cutter, a veteran Democratic operative, wrote on X. “To provide political cover for himself for not prosecuting, he gratuitously leveled a personal (not legal) charge against the president that he absolutely knows is a gift to Trump. And, guess what we are all talking about?”

reported speech here there now then

Peter Nicholas is a senior national political reporter for NBC News.

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  1. Reported Speech: A Complete Grammar Guide ~ ENJOY THE JOURNEY

    reported speech here there now then

  2. Changes in Time and Place in Reported Speech • 7ESL

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  3. Reported Speech: How To Use Reported Speech

    reported speech here there now then

  4. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples • 7ESL

    reported speech here there now then

  5. How to Use Reported Speech in English

    reported speech here there now then

  6. Reported speech

    reported speech here there now then

VIDEO

  1. Reported Speech

  2. Reported Speech

  3. Reported Speech in English

  4. Reported Speech for Class 10 CBSE Board Exam 2024

  5. Reported speech: PART ONE: ከመይ ጌርና ናይ ሰብ ዘረባ ናብ ካልእ ነመሓላልፍ

  6. REPORTED SPEECH IN ENGLISH |Indirect speech

COMMENTS

  1. Time and Place in Reported Speech

    Quiz Time and Place in Reported Speech When we report something, we may need to make changes to: time (now, tomorrow) place (here, this room) Don't confuse time with tense. "Tense" is the grammatical form of the verb that in the reported clause we sometimes shift back (backshift).

  2. Reported Speech

    Harry said, "You need to help me." The reporting clause here is William said. Meanwhile, the reported clause is the 2nd clause, which is I need your help. What are the 4 Types of Reported Speech? Aside from direct and indirect, reported speech can also be divided into four.

  3. Reported Speech

    We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. ( Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell' .) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence: Direct speech: I like ice cream. Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.

  4. Reported speech: indirect speech

    Reporting wh -questions Indirect reports of wh -questions consist of a reporting clause, and a reported clause beginning with a wh -word ( who, what, when, where, why, how ). We don't use a question mark: He asked me what I wanted. Not: He asked me what I wanted? The reported clause is in statement form (subject + verb), not question form:

  5. What is Reported Speech and How to Use It? with Examples

    Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day. In this example, the present tense "will" is changed to the past tense "would." 3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as "say," "tell," "ask," or "inquire" depending on the context of the speech.

  6. Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

    Reported Speech: She said she'd been to London three times. There are a lot of tricky little details to remember, but don't worry, I'll explain them and we'll see lots of examples. The lesson will have three parts - we'll start by looking at statements in reported speech, and then we'll learn about some exceptions to the rules ...

  7. Reported Speech and Direct Speech

    Direct speech and reported speech fully explained: all the rules and details, full with examples and illustrations. Reported Speech Direct Speech and Reported Speech ... here: there: now: then / at the time: today: that day / yesterday: yesterday: the day before / the previous day: a week ago / last week: a week before / the previous week:

  8. Reported speech

    English Grammar Verbs Clause structure and verb patterns Reported speech Reported speech Level: intermediate Reporting and summarising When we want to report what people say, we don't usually try to report their exact words. We usually give a summary, for example: Direct speech (exact words): Mary: Oh dear. We've been walking for hours!

  9. Reported Speech in English Grammar

    Sentences Reported Speech in English Grammar Get more practice with Lingolia Plus! Reported Speech in English Grammar Direct Speech Changing the Tense (backshift) No Change of Tenses Question Sentences Demands/Requests Expressions with who/what/how + infinitive Typical Changes of Time and Place Lingolia Plus English Just here for the exercises?

  10. REPORTED (Indirect) SPEECH

    "I am leaving tonight " said Emma. → Emma said she was leaving that night. Below is a list of common time and place words, showing how you change them from direct to reported speech: Explanation on changing time and place words from direct to reported or indirect speech, for learners of English.

  11. Changes in Time and Place in Reported Speech • 7ESL

    Time and place references often have to change in reported speech: Direct speech: " The children are playing outside now. ". Reported speech: He said that the children were playing outside then. Direct speech: " I've got a piano lesson today. ". Reported speech: She said that she had got a piano lesson that day. Direct speech: " Put ...

  12. Reported Speech

    Reported speech, according to the Oxford Learner's Dictionary, is defined as "a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words." The Collins Dictionary defines reported speech as "speech which tells you what someone said, but does not use the person's actual words."

  13. Reported Speech: Direct and Indirect speech

    Transformation of Sentences Reported Speech Reported Speech: Whenever you are quoting someone else's words, you use two kinds of speeches - Direct or Indirect speech. In this chapter, we will learn all about Direct and Indirect speech and how to convert one into another. Suggested Videos Active and Passive Voice Active and Passive Voice

  14. Reported speech: statements

    Grammar explanation Reported speech is when we tell someone what another person said. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech. direct speech: 'I work in a bank,' said Daniel. indirect speech: Daniel said that he worked in a bank.

  15. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples • 7ESL

    Last updated on December 22, 2023 by 7ESL 37.7k SHARES Reported speech is a very common thing in the English language. We do it almost every day, in conversation and in writing. The problem is, sometimes there can be some confusion around the topic.

  16. ELT Concourse: essentials of reported or indirect speech

    Reported or indirect speech: the essentials. You need to know the names and forms of the tenses in English to understand this guide properly. If you would like to review the names and forms of the tenses, click here now. The guide will open in an new tab so when you are done, simply close it to come back here.

  17. Changing time and place in reported speech| reported speech| English EFL

    Beginner 20 mins Reported speech Time and place must often change when going from direct to reported speech (indirect speech). Time In general, personal pronouns change to the third person singular or plural, except when the speaker reports his own words: I/me/my/mine, you/your/yours = him/his/her/hers

  18. Report The Dialogue: Reported Speech Definitions And Rules

    Direct Speech Indirect Speech (Reported Speech) now: then: today: that day: tonight: that night: yesterday: the previous day / the day before: tomorrow: the next / following day: the day before yesterday : two days before : the day after tomorrow : in two days : last week: the previous week or the week before : last month: the previous month or ...

  19. here and now / there and then

    Grammar worksheets > Direct/reported speech > Reported speech > here and now / there and then. here and now / there and then. I want the students can change the words when they tell people what they said so this worksheet is about here and now / there and then, there are 3 parts of exercise and 1 description. Level: intermediate.

  20. Reported speech: questions

    Grammar test 1 Read the explanation to learn more. Grammar explanation A reported question is when we tell someone what another person asked. To do this, we can use direct speech or indirect speech. direct speech: 'Do you like working in sales?' he asked. indirect speech: He asked me if I liked working in sales.

  21. What did Trump say about NATO funding and what is Article 5?

    Former U.S. President Donald Trump raised a storm of criticism from the White House and top Western officials for suggesting he would not defend NATO allies who failed to spend enough on defence ...

  22. Reported speech

    from English Grammar Today Reported speech is how we represent the speech of other people or what we ourselves say. There are two main types of reported speech: direct speech and indirect speech. Direct speech repeats the exact words the person used, or how we remember their words: Barbara said, "I didn't realise it was midnight."

  23. Reported or indirect speech

    reporting verbs in academic writing. for a guide to reporting what people said or wrote in EAP contexts. indirect or embedded questions. for a short guide devoted only to embedded questions (of which reported speech is one example) the passive. for the dedicated guide to the area. modality.

  24. Reported Speech: Definition, Rules, Usage with Examples, Tips

    Here are some common definitions of reported speech for your reference: ️ An Oxford Learner's Dictionary definition of reported speech is "a report of what somebody has said that does not use their exact words.". ️ Reporter speech is described as "speech which tells you what someone said but does not use the person's actual words ...

  25. An Explosive Hearing in Trump's Georgia Election Case

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    The head of the House intelligence committee, Mike Turner, has called for the Biden administration to declassify information on what he called a "serious national security threat", which was ...

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    Here's what to know about Trump's massive civil judgments. He's now on the hook for nearly a half-billion dollars across three civil cases. These are the rules for when and how he must pay.

  28. 'A nightmare': Special counsel's assessment of Biden's mental fitness

    Special counsel Hur's report hit like a thunderclap, prompting members of Joe Biden's own party to question whether he could remain the nominee in November.