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Transcript of Reported Speech
What is it?
Saying exactly what someone has said. These words are between quotation marks for example The actor said, "I want to finish at eight."
There are two common ways to report people's words, thoughts and so on.
Direct speech & Reported speech.
is when we
use the exact words
that were said.
For Example - Malcolm : I like coffee.
In Direct Speech this would be written as follows:
Malcolm said, 'I like coffee.'
Present Simple - Past Simple
Present Continuous - Past Continuous
Present Perfect - Past Perfect
Past Simple - Past Perfect
Past Continuous - Past Perfect Continuous
Future (will) - Second Conditional (Would)
The one-tense back rule
The MOST important thing to remember when dealing with reported or indirect speech is the one-tense back rule.
This means that a tense in direct speech must go a tense back when using indirect speech.
Reported / Indirect Speech
or reported speech doesn't use quotation marks and it doesn't have to be word for word.
Very often the word
is used when turning direct speech to indirect speech. It is not always necessary.
Let's look at the same example again...
Malcolm : I like coffee.
We can write this in
as follows :
Malcolm said (that) he liked coffee.
mportant to note:
(1) There is no comma after said.
like, which Malcolm used in the present simple tense,
has been changed to past simple tense.
This is called the
(3) The word that is optional.
Important to note:
(1) We need to put a comma after the verb say.
(2) The words that Malcolm used are put in inverted commas, ' ' or " ".
(Double or single be used. Single quotes are more common in British English; double quotes are preferred in American English.)
Tense Direct Speech Reported Speech
Present simple - Past Simple I like ice cream. She said (that) she liked ice cream.
Present continuous - Past Continuous I am living in London. She said she was living in London.
Past simple - Past Perfect Simple I bought a car. She said she had bought a car.
Past continuous - Past Perfect Continuous I was walking along the street. She said she had been walking along the street.
Present perfect - Past Perfect I haven't seen Julie. She said she hadn't seen Julie.
Past perfect - Past Perfect I had taken English lessons before. She said she had taken English lessons before.
Will - Would I'll see you later. She said she would see me later.
Would - Would I would help, but... She said she would help but...
Can - Could I can speak perfect English. She said she could speak perfect English.
Could - Could I could swim when I was four. She said she could swim when she was four.
shall - Would I shall come later. She said she would come later.
Should - Should I should call my mother. She said she should call her mother.
Might - Might I might be late. She said she might be late.
Must - Must I must study at the weekend. She said she must study at the weekend.
In reported speech, personal and possessive pronouns
change according to
- John said, '
- Reported Speech - He said that
and words change. It's important to remember to
them when changing from direct speech to indirect or reported speech.
now - then/immediately
today - that day
yesterday - the day before / the previous day
tomorrow - the next day / the following day
this week - that week
last week - the week before / the previous week
next week - the week after / the following week
ago - before
here - there
come - go
bring - take
Turn the following sentences to reported speech.
1. I want to eat now. I have my birthday today.
2. Henry wanted to eat a burger yesterday.
3. Tomorrow I will visit my grandfather.
4. I have eaten four ice-creams this week. Last week I ate three. Next week I'm going to eat two!
5. I turned fourteen two weeks ago.
6. 'Come here and bring those pencils!'
and we keep the
The very important thing though is that, once we
the question to someone else,
it isn't a question any more.
Change the grammar to a normal positive sentence.
Direct speech: "Where do you live?"
Reported speech: She asked me where I lived.
The direct question is in the present simple tense. Change the verb to the past simple.
Direct Question Reported Question
the Post Office, please? She asked me
the Post Office
you doing? She asked me
that fantastic player? She asked me
that fantastic player
For yes/no questions...
... use 'if'.
Would you like some tea?
He asked me
I wanted any tea.
starts with an an
(be, do or have) OR a
, the r
will start with
to + infinitive' /
Please don't smoke. -> She ordered me
not to smoke
Could you bring my book tonight? -> She asked me t
her book that night.
not +to + infinitive'