REPORTED SPEECHWe use reported speech when we are saying what other people say, think or believe.He says he wants it.We think you are right.I believe he loves her.Yesterday you said you didnt like it but now you do!She told me he had asked her to marry him.I told you she was ill.We thought he was in Australia.When we are reporting things in the present, future or present perfect we dont changethe tense.He thinks he loves her.Ill tell her you are coming.He has said hell do it.
• When we tell people what someone has said in the past, we generally make the tense more in the past.• You look very nice. = I told him he looked very nice.• Hes working in Siberia now. = She told me he was working in Siberia now.• Polly has bought a new car. = She said Polly had bought a new car.• Jo cant come for the weekend. = She said Jo couldnt come for the weekend.• Paul called and left a message. = He told me Paul had called and had left me a message.• Ill give you a hand. = He said he would give me a hand.• However, when we are reporting something that was said in the past but is still true, it is not obligatory to make the tense more in the past. The choice is up to the speaker. For example:• "The train doesnt stop here."• He said the train doesnt stop here.• He said the train didnt stop here.• "I like Sarah."• She said she likes Sarah.• She said she liked Sarah.
• When we are reporting what was said, we sometimes have to change other words in the sentence.• We have to change the pronoun if we are reporting what someone else said. Compare these two sentences. In each case the person actually said "I dont want to go."• I said I didnt want to go.• Bill said he didnt want to go.• We have to change words referring to here and now if we are reporting what was said in a different place or time. Compare these two sentences. In each case the person actually said "Ill be there at ten tomorrow."• (If it is later the same day) He said he would be there at ten tomorrow.• (If it is the next day) He said he would be there at ten today.• Now compare these two sentences.• (If we are in a different place) He said he would be there tomorrow at ten.• (If we are in the place he is coming to) He said he would be here at ten tomorrow.
DIRECT SPEECH / QUOTED SPEECH• Saying exactly what someone has said is called direct speech (sometimes called quoted speech)• Here what a person says appears within quotation marks ("...") and should be word for word.• For example:• She said, "Todays lesson is on presentations."• or• "Todays lesson is on presentations," she said.
INDIRECT SPEECH / REPORTED SPEECH• Indirect speech (sometimes called reported speech), doesnt use quotation marks to enclose what the person said and it doesnt have to be word for word.• When reporting speech the tense usually changes. This is because when we use reported speech, we are usually talking about a time in the past (because obviously the person who spoke originally spoke in the past). The verbs therefore usually have to be in the past too.example: For• For example: Direct speech Indirect speech "Im going to the cinema", he He said he was going to the cinema. said.
TENSE CHANGEAs a rule when you report something someone has said you go back a tense: (the tenseon the left changes to the tense on the right):Direct speech Indirect speechPresent simple Past simple ›She said, "Its cold." She said it was cold.Present continuous Past continuousShe said, "Im teaching › She said she wasEnglish online." teaching English online.Present perfect simple Past perfect simpleShe said, "Ive been on › She said she had beenthe web since 1999." on the web since 1999.Present perfect Past perfectcontinuous continuousShe said, "Ive been › She said she had beenteaching English for teaching English forseven years." seven years.Past simple Past perfectShe said, "I taught online › She said she had taughtyesterday." online yesterday.
Past perfectPast continuous continuousShe said, "I was teaching › She said she had beenearlier." teaching earlier.Past perfect Past perfectShe said, "The lesson NO CHANGE - She said ›had already started when the lesson had alreadyhe arrived." started when he arrived. Past perfectPast perfect continuous continuousShe said, "Id already › NO CHANGE - She saidbeen teaching for five shed already beenminutes." teaching for five minutes.
• Modal verb forms also sometimes change: Direct speech Indirect speech will would She said, "Ill teach She said she would › English online teach English online tomorrow." tomorrow. can could She said, "I can teach › She said she could English online." teach English online. must had to She said, "I must have a She said she had to › computer to teach have a computer to English online." teach English online. shall should She said, "What shall we › She asked what we learn today?" should learn today. may might She said, "May I open a › She asked if she might new browser?" open a new browser.