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indirect speech

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by

querubin lizarazo

on 21 October 2015

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Transcript of indirect speech

photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli
S
ometimes you need to tell people about your conversations and change direct speech into indirect speech.

When you do this, you need to make sure that the tenses are correct.
Indirect speech

"
My job is very interesting" becomes:
She said that her job was very interesting.
When you report a conversation, the tense changes:
Tense changes

"I'm going swimming
" – She said she was going swimming.

"
I haven't seen the film
"
– She said she hadn't seen the film.

"I have been working all morning"
– She said she had been working all morning.

"
I was working all week
"
– She said she had been working all week.

"He went on holiday to Greece
" – She said he had gone on holiday to Greece.
Modal verbs also go back one tense.

Will becomes
would.

For example: "I will see him later" – She said she
would
see him later.

Can becomes
could.

For example: "I can swim" – She said she
could
swim.

May becomes
might.

For example: "It may become colder over night" – He said it
might
become colder over night.

Direct speech using
would, could, might and should all stay the same in reported speech
.

"You should speak more" –
He said I should speak more.
Reporting modal verbs

When you report questions, the word order changes to look like a normal statement.

For example: "Can you help me?" – She asked me if I could help her.

"What's the time?" – He asked her what the time was
.
Reporting questions

That's why the word order is: subject - verb
Question without question words (yes/no questions)
:

Peter: "Do you play football?" - Peter asked me whether (if) I played football.

Question with question words:
Peter:

"When do you play football?" - Peter asked me when I played football
.
Reported questions

Father: "
Do your homework."

Father
told
me
to do
my homework.
Affirmative commands

Teacher. "Don't talk to your neighbour."


The teacher
told me

not to talk
to my neighbour.
Negative commands
In Reported speech there is no question anymore, the sentence becomes a statement.

Change these sentences into the indirect speech
.
1) I’m sorry I’m late.
2) These truffles are delicious.
3) What time is it? I don’t have a watch.
4) Excuse me, I’m looking for my husband/wife.
5) Do those burgers have meat in them? I’m a vegetarian.
6) I have a PhD from Cambridge.
7) Do we know each other
Practice
Interview to eminem
7. "Where have you spent your money?" she asked him.
→ She asked him
8. "I never make mistakes," he said.
→ He said
9. "Does she know Robert?" he wanted to know.
→ He wanted to know
10. "Don't try this at home," the stuntman told the audience.
→ The stuntman advised the audience
1. He said, "I like this song."
→ He said that he liked that song.
2. "Where is your sister?" she asked me.
→ She asked me where my sister was.
3. "I don't speak Italian," she said.
→ She said that she didn't speak Italian.
4. "Say hello to Jim," they said.
→ They asked me to say hello to Jim.
5. "The film began at seven o'clock," he said.
→ He said that the film had begun at seven o'clock.
6. "Don't play on the grass, boys," she said.
→ She told the boys not to play on the grass.

REPORTED SPEECH
If we report what another person has said;WE use the
reported
(indirect)
speech.
Therefore, you need to learn
how to transform
direct speech
into
reported speech

Complete the sentences in reported speech. Note whether the sentence is a request, a statement or a question.
1. He said, "I like this song."
→ He said
2. "Where is your sister?" she asked me.
→ She asked me
3. "I don't speak Italian," she said.
→ She said
4. "Say hello to Jim," they said.
→ They asked me
5. "The film began at seven o'clock," he said.
→ He said
6. "Don't play on the grass, boys," she said.
→ She told the boys


Type Example
direct speech

I speak English.”
reported speech
(no backshift)
He says that he speaks English.
reported speech
(backshift)
He said that he
spoke
English.
Full transcript