Reported SpeechWhat is it? How do you use it?Yesterday, I sawmy friend Pamela!She told me thatshe got apromotion!
Reported Speechis the grammar we use when we want to tell anotherperson about a conversation that took place in the past.We often use reported speech to . . .1. Give someone a telephone message:Example: Ellen said she couldn’t come today because…2. Tell someone news that we heard fromsomeone else:Example: Tom told me that he and Karen got engaged!3. To report something that happened:Example: Sam said that the other driver wasn’tpaying attention and hit his car.
How to use reported speech:When we use reported speech, we areusually talking about the past.Therefore, verbs usually change to thepast tense in reported speech.
am / is become wasare becomes werehave / has become hadcan / can’t becomecouldcouldn’twill / won’t becomewouldwouldn’t
Reported speech typically uses the followingstructure:Someone said (that) … Sentence, pastORSomeone told me (that) … Sentence,pastHowever, in English, you can NEVER saySomeone said me . . .
Examples of reportingwhat someone said . . .I talked to Sandra yesterday. She wastelling me about her job. Her job is quitestressful. Sandra said:“I’m not happy atmy job anymore.I think I’ll quit.”
Sandra said, “I’m not happy at myjob anymore. I think I’ll quit.Now you want to tell someone else what Sandrasaid. In this situation, it’s natural to usereported speech: You can say:Sandra told me that shehappy at her job anymoreand she shequit.
When a person told you something in the pasttense, you can use either the past tense orthe past perfect after the “said” phrase.Example:Tim said:“I workedreally hardtoday.”past tensepast perfect tense
You will hear native speakersuse both the past and pastperfectin this situation;However, it’s much easier to just puteverything in the simple past tensewhen using reported speech, so . . .
Examples for practice:1. Shawn said:“I don’t feel like going to the movies tonight.”Reported speech:Shawn said that he didn’t feel like going to the moviesthat night.2. Tina said:“My sister is coming to visit me soon.”Reported speech:Tina told me that her sister was coming to visither soon.
. . . And more examples:3. The counselor said:“I’ll always be available for your students.”Reported speech:The counselor said that she would always be availablefor my students.4. The students said:“We want to do oral presentations in class so we canpractice speaking more.Reported speech:The students told me that they wantedto do oral presentations so they couldpractice speaking more.
Do you understand reportedspeech better NOW than youdid BEFORE?Keep practicing!!!And please . . . askif you need assistance!Congratulations!