♔ THE REPORTED SPEECH

key_smallThe REPORTED SPEECH is used to express what others have said. It is also useful when you are writing an essay. In this case, it involves paraphrasing and summarizing what different authors have said.

There are certain rules to follow.

First of all, to make sentences in reported speech you need verbs like SAY, TELL or ASK.  But there are many other verbs we can use apart from said, told and asked.

These include:

 

ACCUSE ADMIT ADVISE ALLEGE
AGREE APOLOGISE BEG BOAST
COMPLAIN DENY EXPLAIN IMPLY
INVITE OFFER ORDER PROMISE
REPLY SUGGEST THINK
            

Now remember when reporting speech, a few changes occur:

 


 

FIRST  Choose an appropriate reporting verb, depending on the type of discourse. 

 

N.B. The verb is usually conjugated in the Simple Past.    She said (that) she came early.

 

THEN   Change the tenses to their past form, unless what is said is still true.

 

DON'T FORGET TO   change personal pronouns, possessive adjectives or pronouns, depending on the speaker(s).

 

AND TO    change time and place adverbs.

 

This  will change into that.

These  will change into those.

Here  will change into there.

Now/just  will change into then.

Today  will change into that day.

Yesterday  will change into the previous day or the day before.

Last night  will change into the previous night or the night before.

Tomorrow  will change into the next day.

Ago  will change into before.

The next day/week/year  will change into the following day/week/year.

 

REMEMBER TO     change the punctuation, depending on the type of discourse.


 

DIRECT SPEECHINDIRECT SPEECH
PRESENT SIMPLE
She said: "I like Scotland."
PAST SIMPLE
She said (that) she liked Scotland.
PRESENT CONTINUOUS
She said: "I am teaching English."
PAST CONTINUOUS
She said (that) she was teaching English.
PAST SIMPLE
She said: "I bought a book."
PAST PERFECT
She said (that) she had bought a book.
PAST CONTINUOUS
She said: "We were playing tennis."
PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS
She said (that) they were playing tennis.
PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE
She said: "I have lost my mobile."
PAST PERFECT SIMPLE
She said (that) she had lost her mobile.
PRESENT PERFECT CONTINUOUS
She said: "I have been teaching for 20 years."
PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS
She said (that) she had been teaching for 20 years.
PAST PERFECT
She said: "The film had already started."
PAST PERFECT SIMPLE NO CHANGE
She said (that) the film had already started.
FUTURE
She said: "I will go to Bristol."
CONDITIONAL
She said (that) she would go to Bristol.
CONDITIONAL
She said: "I would be happy to win the competition."
CONDITIONAL NO CHANGE
She said (that) she would be happy to win the competition.

 

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)

 

So look carefully at the following chart and memorize it:

 

DIRECT SPEECHINDIRECT SPEECH
PRESENT SIMPLE PAST SIMPLE
PRESENT CONTINUOUS PAST CONTINUOUS
PAST SIMPLE PAST PERFECT
PRESENT PERFECT PAST PERFECT
FUTURE with "GOING TO" PAST with "GOING TO"
FUTURE with "WILL"SENTENCES with "WOULD"
SENTENCES with "CAN"SENTENCES with "COULD"

 

 

 

Now you may want to do some exercises, then just click HERE.

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