REPORTED SPEECH USED to explain things later. USED for storytelling. Adapted by Nur Garriga
Direct speech Indirect speech Present simple Past simple › She said, "Its cold." She said that it was cold. Present continuous Past continuous She said, "Im teaching › She said that she was teaching English online." English online. Present perfect simple Past perfect simpleShe said, "Ive been on the › She said that she had been on web since 1999." the web since 1999.
Past perfect continuousPresent perfect continuous She said that had beenShe said, "Ive been teaching › teaching English for sevenEnglish for seven years." years.Past simple Past perfectShe said, "I taught online › She said that she had taughtyesterday." online yesterday.Past continuous Past perfect continuousShe said, "I was teaching › She said that she had beenearlier." teaching earlier.Past perfect Past perfectShe said, "The lesson had NO CHANGE - She said that ›already started when he the lesson had already startedarrived." when he arrived. Past perfect continuousPast perfect continuous NO CHANGE - She said thatShe said, "Id already been › shed already been teaching forteaching for five minutes." five minutes.
Modal verb forms also sometimes change: Direct speech Indirect speech will would She said, "Ill teach English online › She said she would teach tomorrow." English online tomorrow. can could She said, "I can teach English › She said she could teach online." English online. had to must She said she had to have a She said, "I must have a computer › computer to teach English to teach English online." online. shall should She said, "What shall we learn › She asked what we should today?" learn today. may might She said, "May I open a new › She asked if she might open a browser?" new browser.Note: could, would, should, might and ought to NEVER CHANGE.
Time and place references often have to change: If the reported sentence contains an expression of time, you must change it to go with the time of the reporting.now › thentoday › that dayhere › therethis › thatthis week › that week the following daytomorrow › the next day the day after
IMPERATIVESpositive imperative tell + object+infinitive“Shut up!” He told me to shut up. tell + object +not + infinitivenegative imperative He told me not to do that“Dont do that again!” again. ask + object +infinitiveimperatives as requests He asked me to lend him“Please lend me some money.” some money.
the following weeknext week › the next week the week afteryesterday › the previous day the day beforelast week › the previous week the week beforeago › previously before2 weeks ago › 2 weeks previously 2 weeks beforetonight › that nightlast Saturday › the previous Saturday the Saturday before the following Saturday the next Saturdaynext Saturday › the Saturday after that Saturday
Examples: I went to the movies last night. He said that he had gone to the movies the night before. Im staying here until next week. He said he was staying there until the following week. If you report something that someone said in a different place to where you heard it: you must change the place (here) to the place (there). Example: At work At home "How long have you She asked me how long I had worked here?" worked there.
In reported speech, the pronoun often changes. For example: Me You She said that she teaches "I teach English online." English online.You also need to be careful with personal pronouns.They need to be changed according to the situation.You need to know the context and who is speaking, and towhom.
Said, told and asked are the most common verbs used inindirect speech.We use “asked” to report questions: I asked Lynne/her what time the lesson had started.We use “told” with an object. Lynne told me that she felt tired.We usually use “said” without an object. Lynne said that she was going to teach online.If “said” is used with an indirect object we must include “to” Lynne said to me that shed never been to China.
Examples:Jack encouraged me to look for a new job. They invited all their friends to attend the presentation.She offered to give him a lift to work. My brother refused to take no for an answer.Tom admitted (that) he had tried to leave early. She agreed (that) we needed to reconsider our plans.He denied having anything to do with her. Ken suggested studying early in the morning.They accused the boys of cheating on the exam. She blamed her husband for missing the train.He apologized for being late. She insisted on doing the washing up.
In reported speech, the word “that” is often used AFTER SAID and TOLD. He told me that he lived in Greenwich. “That” is optional, MORE FORMAL though. He told me he lived in Greenwich. “That” is never used in questions. We use “if” or “whether” instead. He asked me if I would come to the party.
verbs of speech for questions: asked, wondered, enquired, wanted to know, tried to find out question words: where, when, who, why, how Changing verb tenses, pronouns, and time expressions question word order description question word + subject + verb + (O) + (…) He asked when they would arrive. My friend asked if I was coming.
QUESTIONS IN REPORTED SPEECHDIRECT SPEECHAre you happy My friend asked me if I was happytoday? Yes, I am that dayWhat are you doing My friend asked me what I wasthis afternoon? doing that afternoon.Where did you go My friend asked me where had Iyesterday? gone yesterday