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REPORTED SPEECH
   Miguel Ángel Rodríguez López
DEFINITION
Reported speech (also known as indirect
speech) refers to a sentence reporting what
someone has said. When we use reported
speech, we are usually talking about the past
(because obviously the person who spoke
originally spoke in the past). The verbs
therefore usually have to be in the past too.
   "I'm going to the cinema".
   He said he was going to the cinema.
RULES
In all sentences, the quotation marks
and the comma immediately before the
first quotation mark are removed. Next,
the word "that" is usually inserted after
the reporting verb. Then, there are
certain changes to be considered.
    She said, “I work very hard."
    She said that she worked very hard.
1. Tense changes
  As a rule when you report something someone
  has said you go back a tense (the tense on the
   left changes to the tense on the right):


    Direct speech                  Indirect speech

   Present simple                    Past simple
                            ›
   She said, "It's cold."          She said it was cold.

 Present continuous               Past continuous
  She said, "I'm teaching   ›   She said she was teaching
     English online."                English online.
Present perfect simple           Past perfect simple
  She said, "I've been on   ›   She said she had been on
   the web since 1999."           the web since 1999.
Present perfect continuous        Past perfect continuous
She said, "I've been teaching   › She said she had been teaching
English for seven years."         English for seven years.

Past simple                       Past perfect
She said, "I taught online      › She said she had taught online
yesterday."                       yesterday.
Past continuous                   Past perfect continuous
She said, "I was teaching       › She said she had been teaching
earlier."                         earlier.

Past perfect
                                  Past perfect
She said, "The lesson had
                                › NO CHANGE - She said the lesson
already started when he
                                  had already started when he arrived.
arrived."

                                  Past perfect continuous
Past perfect continuous
                                  NO CHANGE - She said she'd
She said, "I'd already been     ›
                                  already been teaching for five
teaching for five minutes."
                                  minutes.
Other tense changes
                 Modal verb forms also change:

              Direct speech                           Indirect speech
will                                       would
       She said, "I'll teach English   ›     She said she would teach English
       online tomorrow."                     online tomorrow.
can                                        could
   She said, "I can teach English      ›      She said she could teach English
   online."                                   online.
must
                                           had to
  She said, "I must have a
                                       ›      She said she had to have a
  computer to teach English
                                              computer to teach English online.
  online."
shall                                      should
   She said, "What shall we learn      ›      She asked what we should learn
   today?"                                    today.
may                                        might
  She said, "May I open a new          ›      She asked if she might open a new
  browser?"                                   browser.
2. Time and place changes
         Time and place references change:

  now                › then
  today              › that day
  here               › there
  this               › that
  this week          › that week
                         the following day
  tomorrow           ›   the next day
                         the day after
the following week
next week       ›   the next week
                    the week after
                    the previous day
Yesterday       › the day before
                    the previous week
last week       › the week before
                    previously
Ago             › before
                    2 weeks previously
2 weeks ago     › 2 weeks before
Tonight         › that night
                    the previous Saturday
last Saturday   › the Saturday before
                    the following Saturday
                    the next Saturday
next Saturday   ›   the Saturday after
                    that Saturday
Examples:
I went to the theatre last
night.
  He said he had gone to the
theatre the night before.
I'm staying here until next
week.
  He said he was staying there
until the following week.
3. Pronouns


Personal pronouns need to be changed according
to the situation.

      “I run 5 km every day”, said she.

      She said she ran 5 km every day.
Besides, some demontratives must
 be changed:
 THIS changes to THAT
And THESE to THOSE:

She said ‘I like this shirt’
She said she liked that shirt.
4. Reporting Verbs
  Said, told and asked are the most common verbs used in
  indirect speech.

We use “asked” to report questions:
  I asked Lynne what time the lesson started.


We use “told” with an object.
  Lynne told me she felt tired.


We usually use “said” without an object.
  Lynne said she was going to teach online.

  If “said” is used with an object we must include “to”
  Lynne said to me that she'd never been to China.
There are many other verbs we can use apart from said,
told and asked. These include:


 accused, admitted, advised, alleged, agreed, apologised,
 begged, boasted, complained, denied, explained, implied,
invited, offered, ordered, promised, replied, suggested and
                          thought.
5. Indirect Questions
   We normally use asked, but also wanted to know and wondered.

    YES/NO Questions:
“Can you pass me the salt?” she asked.
1- We write the subject + asked if: She asked if...
2- We invert the subject order of the question and change pronouns, time and
    place expressions and tenses:

   She asked if I could pass her the salt.

   WH- Questions:
They asked “Where does your brother live?

1- We write the subject + asked: They asked
2- We write the WH- word, and we invert the subject order of the question and
    change pronouns, time and place expressions and tenses:

   They asked where my brother lived.
6. Indirect orders, requests and
               suggestions
positive imperative         tell + (Object) + to infinitive
                            He told me to close the door.
Close the door!

negative imperative         tell + (Object) + not to infinitive

Don't speak!                He told me not to speak.



imperatives as requests     ask + (Object) + to infinitive

Please, pass me the salt.   He asked me to pass him the salt.
As regards suggestions, there are two possibilities.
   There are two verbs: suggested and recommended.

The speaker is included   suggest + verb (ing)
in the action expressed
by the suggestion:        He suggested going to the
                          park.
Let’s go to the park
The speaker is not        suggest + that + subject + bare
included in the action    infinitive
expressed by the
suggestion:               He suggested that I play the
                          piano.
Why don’t you play the
piano?

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Reported speech

  • 1. REPORTED SPEECH Miguel Ángel Rodríguez López
  • 2. DEFINITION Reported speech (also known as indirect speech) refers to a sentence reporting what someone has said. When we use reported speech, we are usually talking about the past (because obviously the person who spoke originally spoke in the past). The verbs therefore usually have to be in the past too. "I'm going to the cinema". He said he was going to the cinema.
  • 3. RULES In all sentences, the quotation marks and the comma immediately before the first quotation mark are removed. Next, the word "that" is usually inserted after the reporting verb. Then, there are certain changes to be considered. She said, “I work very hard." She said that she worked very hard.
  • 4. 1. Tense changes As a rule when you report something someone has said you go back a tense (the tense on the left changes to the tense on the right): Direct speech Indirect speech Present simple Past simple › She said, "It's cold." She said it was cold. Present continuous Past continuous She said, "I'm teaching › She said she was teaching English online." English online. Present perfect simple Past perfect simple She said, "I've been on › She said she had been on the web since 1999." the web since 1999.
  • 5. Present perfect continuous Past perfect continuous She said, "I've been teaching › She said she had been teaching English for seven years." English for seven years. Past simple Past perfect She said, "I taught online › She said she had taught online yesterday." yesterday. Past continuous Past perfect continuous She said, "I was teaching › She said she had been teaching earlier." earlier. Past perfect Past perfect She said, "The lesson had › NO CHANGE - She said the lesson already started when he had already started when he arrived. arrived." Past perfect continuous Past perfect continuous NO CHANGE - She said she'd She said, "I'd already been › already been teaching for five teaching for five minutes." minutes.
  • 6. Other tense changes Modal verb forms also change: Direct speech Indirect speech will would She said, "I'll teach English › She said she would teach English online tomorrow." online tomorrow. can could She said, "I can teach English › She said she could teach English online." online. must had to She said, "I must have a › She said she had to have a computer to teach English computer to teach English online. online." shall should She said, "What shall we learn › She asked what we should learn today?" today. may might She said, "May I open a new › She asked if she might open a new browser?" browser.
  • 7. 2. Time and place changes Time and place references change: now › then today › that day here › there this › that this week › that week the following day tomorrow › the next day the day after
  • 8. the following week next week › the next week the week after the previous day Yesterday › the day before the previous week last week › the week before previously Ago › before 2 weeks previously 2 weeks ago › 2 weeks before Tonight › that night the previous Saturday last Saturday › the Saturday before the following Saturday the next Saturday next Saturday › the Saturday after that Saturday
  • 9. Examples: I went to the theatre last night. He said he had gone to the theatre the night before. I'm staying here until next week. He said he was staying there until the following week.
  • 10. 3. Pronouns Personal pronouns need to be changed according to the situation. “I run 5 km every day”, said she. She said she ran 5 km every day.
  • 11. Besides, some demontratives must be changed: THIS changes to THAT And THESE to THOSE: She said ‘I like this shirt’ She said she liked that shirt.
  • 12. 4. Reporting Verbs Said, told and asked are the most common verbs used in indirect speech. We use “asked” to report questions: I asked Lynne what time the lesson started. We use “told” with an object. Lynne told me she felt tired. We usually use “said” without an object. Lynne said she was going to teach online. If “said” is used with an object we must include “to” Lynne said to me that she'd never been to China.
  • 13. There are many other verbs we can use apart from said, told and asked. These include: accused, admitted, advised, alleged, agreed, apologised, begged, boasted, complained, denied, explained, implied, invited, offered, ordered, promised, replied, suggested and thought.
  • 14. 5. Indirect Questions We normally use asked, but also wanted to know and wondered. YES/NO Questions: “Can you pass me the salt?” she asked. 1- We write the subject + asked if: She asked if... 2- We invert the subject order of the question and change pronouns, time and place expressions and tenses: She asked if I could pass her the salt. WH- Questions: They asked “Where does your brother live? 1- We write the subject + asked: They asked 2- We write the WH- word, and we invert the subject order of the question and change pronouns, time and place expressions and tenses: They asked where my brother lived.
  • 15. 6. Indirect orders, requests and suggestions positive imperative tell + (Object) + to infinitive He told me to close the door. Close the door! negative imperative tell + (Object) + not to infinitive Don't speak! He told me not to speak. imperatives as requests ask + (Object) + to infinitive Please, pass me the salt. He asked me to pass him the salt.
  • 16. As regards suggestions, there are two possibilities. There are two verbs: suggested and recommended. The speaker is included suggest + verb (ing) in the action expressed by the suggestion: He suggested going to the park. Let’s go to the park The speaker is not suggest + that + subject + bare included in the action infinitive expressed by the suggestion: He suggested that I play the piano. Why don’t you play the piano?