• English Grammar
  • Clause structure and verb patterns

Reported speech

Level: intermediate

Reporting and summarising

When we want to report what people say, we don't usually try to report their exact words. We usually give a  summary , for example:

Direct speech (exact words) :

Mary :  Oh dear. We've been walking for hours! I'm exhausted. I don't think I can go any further. I really need to stop for a rest. Peter :  Don't worry. I'm not surprised you're tired. I'm tired too. I'll tell you what, let's see if we can find a place to sit down, and then we can stop and have our picnic.

Reported speech (summary) :

When Mary complained that she was tired out after walking so far, Peter said they could stop for a picnic.

Reporting verbs

When we want to report what people say, we use reporting verbs . Different reporting verbs have different patterns, for example:

Mary complained (that) she was tired . (verb + that clause) She asked if they could stop for a rest . (verb + if clause) Peter told her not to worry . (verb + to -infinitive) He suggested stopping and having a picnic . (verb + - ing form) 

See reporting verbs with that , wh-  and if clauses , verbs followed by the infinitive , verbs followed by the -ing form .

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Tenses in reported speech

When reporting what people say or think in English, we need to remember that the rules for tense forms in reported speech are exactly the same as in the rest of the language.

This is a letter that Andrew wrote ten years ago:

If we wanted to report what Andrew said in his letter, we might say something like this: 

Andrew said that when he  was  22, he was an engineering student in his last month at university. He wanted  to travel abroad after he  had finished  his course at the university, but he would need to earn some money while he was abroad so he wanted  to learn to teach English as a foreign language. A friend  had recommended  a course but Andrew needed more information, so he wrote to the school and asked them when their courses started  and how much they were . He also wanted to know if there was  an examination at the end of the course.

We would naturally use past tense forms to talk about things which happened ten years ago. So, tenses in reports and summaries in English are the same as in the rest of the language.

Sometimes we can choose between a past tense form and a  present tense  form. If we're talking about the past but we mention something that's still true , we can use the present tense:

John said he'd stayed at the Shangri-la because it' s the best hotel in town. Mary said she enjoyed the film because Robert de Niro is her favourite actor. Helen said she  loves visiting New York.

or the past tense:

John said he'd stayed at the Shangri-la because it was the best hotel in town. Mary said she enjoyed the film because Robert de Niro was her favourite actor. Helen said she  loved visiting New York.

If we're talking about something that  everybody knows is true , we normally use the present tense :

Michael said he'd always wanted to climb Everest because it' s the highest mountain in the world. Mary said she loved visiting New York because it' s such an exciting city.

Hi! I found the following paragraph from a grammar site while I was studying the reported speech. Can you help me? It says; --> We can use a perfect form with have + -ed form after modal verbs, especially where the report looks back to a hypothetical event in the past: He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. (original statement: ‘The noise might be the postman delivering letters.’)

And my question is: How do we understand if it is a hypothetical event in the past or not? We normally don't change 'might' in reported speech. (e.g. ‘It might snow tonight,’ he warned. --> He warned that it might snow that night.) But why do we say 'He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters.' instead of 'He said that the noise might be the postman delivering letters.’ What's the difference between these two indirect reported speeches? Could you please explain the difference? And I also found this example which is about the same rule above: --> He said he would have helped us if we’d needed a volunteer. (original statement: a) ‘I’ll help you if you need a volunteer’ or b) ‘I’d help you if you needed a volunteer.’) Can you also explain why we report this sentence like that. How can we both change a) and b) into the same indirect reported speech? Thank you very much!

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Hello Melis_06,

1. He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. 2. He said that the noise might be the postman delivering letters.

In sentence 1 it is clear that the noise has ended; it is a noise that 'he' could hear but it is not a noise that you can hear now. In sentence 2 the noise could have ended or it could be a noise that you can still hear now. For example, if the noise is one which is constant, such as a noise that comes from your car engine that you are still trying to identify, then you would use sentence 2. In other words, sentence 2 allows for a wider range of time possibilities - both past (ended) and present (still current).

Your second question is similar:

He said he would have helped us if we needed a volunteer - you no longer need a volunteer

He said he would help us if we needed a volunteer - this could still be relevant; you may still need a volunteer.

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello my friend : what are you doing now? me : I'm eating an apple now and My friend repeated his question now

my question

Can I repeat the sentence in the past ( I was eating an apple) and mean( I'm eating an apple now) ?

You can but it is unusual. If you say  I was eating an apple  (past continuous), it means that it was in the past. You already finished eating the apple and you are not eating it now. But if your friend asked you just a moment ago, I guess you are still eating the apple when she/he asks the second question, so I would say  I'm eating an apple  (because you are still doing it).

Alternatively, you can use a past tense reporting verb e.g. I said I was eating an apple  (referring to the time of the first question), or  I said I 'm eating an apple  (to show that you are still eating it now, at the moment of speaking).

LearnEnglish team

Am I correct then? When someone wants us to repeat the sentence we have just said a moment ago we say 'I said I am doing...' if we are still doing that action. But if we are done with that action, then we say 'I said I was doing...' Did I get it right? Thanks!

Hello Meldo,

Yes, that's correct. Well done!

Hi. I wish to enquire if the verb tense used after a conjunction also changes in complex sentences as per tense transition rules, especially if it is already in simple past tense. In order to explain, could you please solve the following for me: 1. It has been quite a while since I last saw you. 2. Nevertheless, she has been quite desensitized to such perverse actions to the extent that it seldom ever seems obnoxious to her. 3. Let me keep this in my cupboard lest I misplace this. 4. I had arrived at the station before you even left your house. 5. I met my grandfather before he died.

Hi Aamna bluemoon,

The verb may or may not be backshifted, depending on whether the original speaker's point of view and the reporter's point of view are the same or not. For example:

  • She said it had been quite a while since she last saw me . (it seems relatively recent, for both the original speaker and the reporter)
  • She said it had been quite a while since she had last seen us . (a lot of time has passed between speaking and reporting this, or the situation has changed a lot since then e.g. they have met frequently since then)
  • She said she had met her grandfather before he died . (seems quite recent)
  • She said she had met her grandfather before he'd died . (a lot of time has passed between speaking and reporting this)

I hope that helps.

Hi, can you help me, please? How could I report this famous quotation: 'There's no such things as good news in America'.

Hi bri.q630,

First of all, the sentence is not grammatically correct. The phrase is 'no such thing' (singular), not 'things'.

How you report it depends. Using 'said' as the reporting verb we have two possibilities:

1. They said (that) there's no such thing as good news in America. 2. They said (that) there was no such thing as good news in America.

Sentence 2 tells that only about the time when 'they' said it. It does not tell us if it is still true or not.

Sentence 1 tells us that what 'they' said is still relevant today. In other words there was no good news (in their opinion) when they spoke, and there is still no good news now.

Thank you Peter,

All things are getting clear to me.

So, you mean, I can use both sentences depending on what I want to indicate, can't I?

then the possible indications are bellow, are those correct?

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.)

1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945. (This would be indicated I might missunderstand.)

2-a I felt time is money. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.)

2-b I felf time was money. (This would be indicated I might not feel any more.)

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. (This would be indicated the statement is still true.)

3-b I knew the sun rase in the east. (This would be indicated I might misunderstand or forget.)

4-a I guessed* that Darth Vader is Luke's father. (This would be indicated I still believe he is.*sorry for the typo)

4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. (This would be indicated I might know he is not.)

Thank you in advance.

Hello again Nobori,

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.) 1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945. (This would be indicated I might missunderstand.)

Both forms are possible here. The 'ending' is a moment in the past; after this there is no war. By the way, we treat 'World War 2' as a name so there is no article before it.

2-a I felt time is money. (This would be indicated the statement is still ture.) 2-b I felf time was money. (This would be indicated I might not feel any more.)

That's correct. Remember that backshifting the verb does not mean something is no longer true; it simply does not tell us anything about the present. Here, it tells the reader how you felt at a given moment in time; you may 

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. (This would be indicated the statement is still true.) 3-b I knew the sun rase in the east. (This would be indicated I might misunderstand or forget.)

That's also correct. Again, remember that backshifting the verb does not mean something is no longer true; it simply does not tell us anything about the present.

4-a I guessed* that Darth Vader is Luke's father. (This would be indicated I still believe he is.*sorry for the typo) 4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father. (This would be indicated I might know he is not.)

Again, correct. In the second example it might still be true that he is Luke's father, or it might have turned out to be not true. The sentence does not tell us.

Hi Peter, Thank you for your thoughtful answer. Allthing is now very clear to me. Best

Hi, I am translating a fiction novel into English and need your help regarding the reporting speech as for few things I am not getting any clear understanding over the internet. As you know in fiction, we need to write in non-ordinary way to create unique impressions of the word and academic writing is different than speaking. Will be grateful if you could give your insight below, especially considering in the context of fiction/academic writing.

1) Let’s say If someone is giving a speech or presentation, I want to mix their speech, indirect-direct and past tense- present tense. Below are three examples:

-He said, their company makes excellent profit every year OR their company made excellent profit every year ( can both be correct? As the sentence)

- Roger had given his speech yesterday. He said, their company makes excellent profit every year and your company will sustain for next hundred years.(Can YOUR be used in the sentence)

- Roger said people wants to feel important OR Roger said people wanted to feel important (which will be correct as this is a trait which is true in past and present)

2) He thought why he is talking to her OR He thought why he was talking to her (are both write? As usually I see in novels the second example with WAS)

3) Gia was sitting with Jake and she told him she had met with her last year. Her mother had taken her to the dinner. Her mother had told her about her future plans. Her mother also had paid the bill for the dinner. (Do I need to use every time past perfect in this example though it doesn’t feel natural? As a rule of thumb I think past perfect needs to be used when we talk about another past event in the past )

Hello Alamgir3,

We're happy to help with a few specific grammar questions, but I'm afraid we can't help you with your translation -- I'd suggest you find an editor for that.

1) In the second clause, you can use present or past. We often use the present when it's still true now, but the past is not wrong. FYI we don't normally use a comma after 'said' in reported speech.

2) 'Why was he talking to her?' he thought.

3) This is really more of a question of style than grammar. Here I would suggest doing something like combining the four sentences into two and then leaving out 'had' in the second verb in each sentence. Even if it isn't written, it's understood to be past perfect.

All the best, Kirk LearnEnglish team

Hello teachers, I'm sorry, I could not find where to new post. Could you tell me about the back-sifting of thoughts bellow? Which forms are correct?

1-a I remembered the World War 2 ended in 1945. 1-b I remembered the World War 2 had ended in 1945.

2-a I felt time is money. 2-b I felf time was money.

3-a I knew the sun rises in the east. 3-b I knew the sun rase in the east.

4-a I guess that Darth Vader is Luke's father. 4-2 I guessed that Darth Vader was Luke's father.

Do those questions have the same conclusion as indirect speech, such as say and tell?

Hello Nobori,

The verb form remains the same when we want to make it clear that the situation described by the verb is still true, and this works in the same way as indirect speech. For example:

She said she loves me. [she loved me then and she loves me still] She said she loved me. [she loved me then; no information on how she feels now]

Other than this rule, the choice is really contextual and stylistic (up to the speaker). Sometimes a choice implies something. For example, the saying 'time is money' is a general statement, so if you choose to backshift here the listener will know it is an intentional choice and suspect that something has changed (you no longer believe it).

Hi teachers, I've read almost the section of comments below and my summarize is the present tense only can be used if the statement is still true now and past simple only tells the statement was true in the past and doesn't tell the statement is true or not now. Just to make sure, I wanna ask, If I'm not sure whether the statement is still true or not now, can I choose backshift instead (this is still apply to past tense become past perfect)? Thank you

Hello rahmanagustiansyah,

It sounds to me as if you've got the right general idea. Could you please give a couple of example sentences that illustrate your question?

Thanks in advance, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

For example, Steve said "Anna hates you." Then I wanna tell about that to my friend, but I'm not sure whether Anna still hates me or not now. What should I choose between these two options. Answer 1:Steve said Anna hates me or Answer 2 : Steve said Anna hated me. Thank you

Hi rahmanagustiansyah,

In that case, I would choose answer 2. I might even add "... but I don't know if she still does" to the sentence to clarify, if that is the key point you want to communicate.

Jonathan The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Natasa Tanasa,

Both sentences are grammatically possible.

The first sentence is only possible if when the person asks the original question the woman is no longer there (she has already gone). The second sentence can be used in this situation too, or in a situation in which the woman was still there when the original question was asked. As the past tense is used in the original question ( Who was... ), both sentences are possible.

Hello Ahmed Imam,

When the situation is still true at the time of reporting, we can leave the verb form unchanged. For example:

1. She told me she loved me.
2. She told me she loves me.

In sentence 1 we know she loved me when she told me but we don't know whether or not she loves me now. In sentence 2, we know she loved me when she told me and we know that she loves me now.

In your example, if the supermarket is still in the same place then we can use either form. If the supermarket has been closed down or moved to another location then we need to use was .

As for which is 'safer', you'll need to make your own mind up! Keeping the verb in the same form carries more specific information and that may be appropriate or even important.

Hello eugelatina87,

I'll give you a hint: a verb is missing from the question.

Does that help you complete it?

All the best,

The first two sentences are possible and they can both mean that he is still Mary's boyfriend now. The first one makes this more clear, but the second one doesn't only refer to the past.

Hello magnuslin

Regarding your first question, the most common way of saying it is the second one. In some very specific situation, perhaps the first option would be possible.

This also answers your second question. It is not necessary to always backshift using the tenses you mention.

As for your third question, no, it is not necessary. In fact, it is probably more common to use the past simple in the reported speech as well. 

All the best

Hello manu,

Both forms are possible. If you use  had been  then we understand that he was there earlier but not when he said it - in other words, when he said it he had already left. If you use was then he may have left at the time of speaking, or he may have still been there.

Hello _princess_

I would recommend using answer a) because this is the general pattern used in reported speech. Sometimes the verb in the reported clause can be in the present tense when we are speaking about a situation that is still true, but the reported verb in the past tense can also have the same meaning. Since here the time referred to could be either past or present, I'd recommend using the past form.

Hello mwright,

This is an example of an indirect question. An indirect question reports a question, but is not a question itself, which is why we do not use a question mark at the end. Since it is not a question, we use the normal word order without inversion or auxiliary verbs. For example:

Indicative: He lives in Rome. Interrogative: Does he live in Rome? (Where does he live?) Reported: She asked if he lives in Rome. (She asked where he lives.)  

Hello ahlinthit

There are different styles of punctuating direct speech -- in other words, you might find other sources that will disagree with me -- but what I would use here is something different: "The boss is dead!" said the doctor.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Hello Timmosky,

The form that comes after the auxiliary verb 'do' (or 'does' or 'did') is not the plural present simple verb, but rather the bare infinitive (also known as 'base form' or 'first form') of the verb. Does that make sense?

All the best, Kirk The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sky-high,

This is very formal language. The phrase 'to the effect that' means 'with the meaning that'. In this context it can be understood to mean 'with the result that'.

Best wishes,

The difference is quite logical. If we use 'said' then we are talking about a claim by Peter in the past which he may or may not still maintain. If we use 'says' then we are talking about an opinion expressed by Peter which he still holds.

The reported information (whether or not Rooney is in good shape) can refer to only the past or to the present as well and the statement (what Peter thinks) can separately refer to only the past or the present as well. Of course, all of this is from the point of view of the person reporting Peter's opinion, and whether or not they think that Peter still thinks now what he thought then.

Both are possible. If you use the present tense then it is clear that the statement is still true (i.e. the business was not growing when Mary spoke and is still not growing now). If you use the past tense then no information is given regarding the present (i.e. the business was growing when Mary spoke and may or may not be growing now).

Hello aseel aftab,

It should be 'if they had'. This is not from this page, is it? I don't see it anywhere here, but if I've missed it please let me know.

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Reported Speech – Rules, Examples & Worksheet

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| Candace Osmond

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

They say gossip is a natural part of human life. That’s why language has evolved to develop grammatical rules about the “he said” and “she said” statements. We call them reported speech.

Every time we use reported speech in English, we are talking about something said by someone else in the past. Thinking about it brings me back to high school, when reported speech was the main form of language!

Learn all about the definition, rules, and examples of reported speech as I go over everything. I also included a worksheet at the end of the article so you can test your knowledge of the topic.

What Does Reported Speech Mean?

Grammarist Article Graphic V3 2022 10 25T162134.388

Reported speech is a term we use when telling someone what another person said. You can do this while speaking or writing.

There are two kinds of reported speech you can use: direct speech and indirect speech. I’ll break each down for you.

A direct speech sentence mentions the exact words the other person said. For example:

  • Kryz said, “These are all my necklaces.”

Indirect speech changes the original speaker’s words. For example:

  • Kryz said those were all her necklaces.

When we tell someone what another individual said, we use reporting verbs like told, asked, convinced, persuaded, and said. We also change the first-person figure in the quotation into the third-person speaker.

Reported Speech Examples

We usually talk about the past every time we use reported speech. That’s because the time of speaking is already done. For example:

  • Direct speech: The employer asked me, “Do you have experience with people in the corporate setting?”

Indirect speech: The employer asked me if I had experience with people in the corporate setting.

  • Direct speech: “I’m working on my thesis,” I told James.

Indirect speech: I told James that I was working on my thesis.

Reported Speech Structure

A speech report has two parts: the reporting clause and the reported clause. Read the example below:

  • Harry said, “You need to help me.”

The reporting clause here is William said. Meanwhile, the reported clause is the 2nd clause, which is I need your help.

What are the 4 Types of Reported Speech?

Aside from direct and indirect, reported speech can also be divided into four. The four types of reported speech are similar to the kinds of sentences: imperative, interrogative, exclamatory, and declarative.

Reported Speech Rules

The rules for reported speech can be complex. But with enough practice, you’ll be able to master them all.

Choose Whether to Use That or If

The most common conjunction in reported speech is that. You can say, “My aunt says she’s outside,” or “My aunt says that she’s outside.”

Use if when you’re reporting a yes-no question. For example:

  • Direct speech: “Are you coming with us?”

Indirect speech: She asked if she was coming with them.

Verb Tense Changes

Change the reporting verb into its past form if the statement is irrelevant now. Remember that some of these words are irregular verbs, meaning they don’t follow the typical -d or -ed pattern. For example:

  • Direct speech: I dislike fried chicken.

Reported speech: She said she disliked fried chicken.

Note how the main verb in the reported statement is also in the past tense verb form.

Use the simple present tense in your indirect speech if the initial words remain relevant at the time of reporting. This verb tense also works if the report is something someone would repeat. For example:

  • Slater says they’re opening a restaurant soon.
  • Maya says she likes dogs.

This rule proves that the choice of verb tense is not a black-and-white question. The reporter needs to analyze the context of the action.

Move the tense backward when the reporting verb is in the past tense. That means:

  • Present simple becomes past simple.
  • Present perfect becomes past perfect.
  • Present continuous becomes past continuous.
  • Past simple becomes past perfect.
  • Past continuous becomes past perfect continuous.

Here are some examples:

  • The singer has left the building. (present perfect)

He said that the singers had left the building. (past perfect)

  • Her sister gave her new shows. (past simple)
  • She said that her sister had given her new shoes. (past perfect)

If the original speaker is discussing the future, change the tense of the reporting verb into the past form. There’ll also be a change in the auxiliary verbs.

  • Will or shall becomes would.
  • Will be becomes would be.
  • Will have been becomes would have been.
  • Will have becomes would have.

For example:

  • Direct speech: “I will be there in a moment.”

Indirect speech: She said that she would be there in a moment.

Do not change the verb tenses in indirect speech when the sentence has a time clause. This rule applies when the introductory verb is in the future, present, and present perfect. Here are other conditions where you must not change the tense:

  • If the sentence is a fact or generally true.
  • If the sentence’s verb is in the unreal past (using second or third conditional).
  • If the original speaker reports something right away.
  • Do not change had better, would, used to, could, might, etc.

Changes in Place and Time Reference

Changing the place and time adverb when using indirect speech is essential. For example, now becomes then and today becomes that day. Here are more transformations in adverbs of time and places.

  • This – that.
  • These – those.
  • Now – then.
  • Here – there.
  • Tomorrow – the next/following day.
  • Two weeks ago – two weeks before.
  • Yesterday – the day before.

Here are some examples.

  • Direct speech: “I am baking cookies now.”

Indirect speech: He said he was baking cookies then.

  • Direct speech: “Myra went here yesterday.”

Indirect speech: She said Myra went there the day before.

  • Direct speech: “I will go to the market tomorrow.”

Indirect speech: She said she would go to the market the next day.

Using Modals

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If the direct speech contains a modal verb, make sure to change them accordingly.

  • Will becomes would
  • Can becomes could
  • Shall becomes should or would.
  • Direct speech: “Will you come to the ball with me?”

Indirect speech: He asked if he would come to the ball with me.

  • Direct speech: “Gina can inspect the room tomorrow because she’s free.”

Indirect speech: He said Gina could inspect the room the next day because she’s free.

However, sometimes, the modal verb should does not change grammatically. For example:

  • Direct speech: “He should go to the park.”

Indirect speech: She said that he should go to the park.

Imperative Sentences

To change an imperative sentence into a reported indirect sentence, use to for imperative and not to for negative sentences. Never use the word that in your indirect speech. Another rule is to remove the word please . Instead, say request or say. For example:

  • “Please don’t interrupt the event,” said the host.

The host requested them not to interrupt the event.

  • Jonah told her, “Be careful.”
  • Jonah ordered her to be careful.

Reported Questions

When reporting a direct question, I would use verbs like inquire, wonder, ask, etc. Remember that we don’t use a question mark or exclamation mark for reports of questions. Below is an example I made of how to change question forms.

  • Incorrect: He asked me where I live?

Correct: He asked me where I live.

Here’s another example. The first sentence uses direct speech in a present simple question form, while the second is the reported speech.

  • Where do you live?

She asked me where I live.

Wrapping Up Reported Speech

My guide has shown you an explanation of reported statements in English. Do you have a better grasp on how to use it now?

Reported speech refers to something that someone else said. It contains a subject, reporting verb, and a reported cause.

Don’t forget my rules for using reported speech. Practice the correct verb tense, modal verbs, time expressions, and place references.

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Reported Speech

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  • An Introduction to Punctuation
  • Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
  • M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
  • B.A., English, State University of New York

Reported speech is the report of one speaker or writer on the words spoken, written, or thought by someone else. Also called reported discourse .

Traditionally, two broad categories of  reported speech  have been recognized: direct speech  (in which the original speaker's words are quoted word for word) and indirect speech (in which the original speaker's thoughts are conveyed without using the speaker's exact words). However, a number of linguists have challenged this distinction, noting (among other things) that there's significant overlap between the two categories. Deborah Tannen, for instance, has argued that "[w] hat is commonly referred to as reported speech or direct quotation in conversation is  constructed dialogue ."

Observations

  • " Reported speech is not just a particular grammatical form or transformation , as some grammar books might suggest. We have to realize that reported speech represents, in fact, a kind of translation , a transposition that necessarily takes into account two different cognitive perspectives: the point of view of the person whose utterance is being reported, and that of a speaker who is actually reporting that utterance." (Teresa Dobrzyńska, "Rendering Metaphor in Reported Speech," in Relative Points of View: Linguistic Representation of Culture , ed. by Magda Stroińska. Berghahn Books, 2001)

Tannen on the Creation of Dialogue

  • "I wish to question the conventional American literal conception of ' reported speech ' and claim instead that uttering dialogue in conversation is as much a creative act as is the creation of dialogue in fiction and drama. 
  • "The casting of thoughts and speech in dialogue creates particular scenes and characters--and . . . it is the particular that moves readers by establishing and building on a sense of identification between speaker or writer and hearer or reader. As teachers of creative writing exhort neophyte writers, the accurate representation of the particular communicates universality, whereas direct attempts to represent universality often communicate nothing." (Deborah Tannen, Talking Voices: Repetition, Dialogue, and Imagery in Conversational Discourse , 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Goffman on Reported Speech

  • "[Erving] Goffman's work has proven foundational in the investigation of reported speech itself. While Goffman is not in his own work concerned with the analysis of actual instances of interaction (for a critique, see Schlegoff, 1988), it provides a framework for researchers concerned with investigating reported speech in its most basic environment of occurrence: ordinary conversation. . . .
  • "Goffman . . . proposed that reported speech is a natural upshot of a more general phenomenon in interaction: shifts of 'footing,' defined as 'the alignment of an individual to a particular utterance . . .' ([ Forms of Talk ,] 1981: 227). Goffman is concerned to break down the roles of speaker and hearer into their constituent parts. . . . [O]ur ability to use reported speech stems from the fact that we can adopt different roles within the 'production format,' and it is one of the many ways in which we constantly change footing as we interact . . .."(Rebecca Clift and Elizabeth Holt, Introduction. Reporting Talk: Reported Speech in Interaction . Cambridge University Press, 2007)

Reported Speech in Legal Contexts

  • "​ [R]eported speech occupies a prominent position in our use of language in the context of the law. Much of what is said in this context has to do with rendering people's sayings: we report the words that accompany other people's doings in order to put the latter in the correct perspective. As a consequence, much of our judiciary system, both in the theory and in the practice of law, turns around the ability to prove or disprove the correctness of a verbal account of a situation. The problem is how to summarize that account, from the initial police report to the final imposed sentence, in legally binding terms, so that it can go 'on the record,' that is to say, be reported in its definitive, forever immutable form as part of a 'case' in the books." (Jacob Mey, When Voices Clash: A Study in Literary Pragmatics . Walter de Gruyter, 1998)
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Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

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👉 Quiz 1 / Quiz 2

Advanced Grammar Course

What is reported speech?

“Reported speech” is when we talk about what somebody else said – for example:

  • Direct Speech: “I’ve been to London three times.”
  • Reported Speech: She said she’d been to London three times.

There are a lot of tricky little details to remember, but don’t worry, I’ll explain them and we’ll see lots of examples. The lesson will have three parts – we’ll start by looking at statements in reported speech, and then we’ll learn about some exceptions to the rules, and finally we’ll cover reported questions, requests, and commands.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

So much of English grammar – like this topic, reported speech – can be confusing, hard to understand, and even harder to use correctly. I can help you learn grammar easily and use it confidently inside my Advanced English Grammar Course.

In this course, I will make even the most difficult parts of English grammar clear to you – and there are lots of opportunities for you to practice!

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Backshift of Verb Tenses in Reported Speech

When we use reported speech, we often change the verb tense backwards in time. This can be called “backshift.”

Here are some examples in different verb tenses:

Reported Speech (Part 1) Quiz

Exceptions to backshift in reported speech.

Now that you know some of the reported speech rules about backshift, let’s learn some exceptions.

There are two situations in which we do NOT need to change the verb tense.

No backshift needed when the situation is still true

For example, if someone says “I have three children” (direct speech) then we would say “He said he has three children” because the situation continues to be true.

If I tell you “I live in the United States” (direct speech) then you could tell someone else “She said she lives in the United States” (that’s reported speech) because it is still true.

When the situation is still true, then we don’t need to backshift the verb.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

He said he HAS three children

But when the situation is NOT still true, then we DO need to backshift the verb.

Imagine your friend says, “I have a headache.”

  • If you immediately go and talk to another friend, you could say, “She said she has a headache,” because the situation is still true
  • If you’re talking about that conversation a month after it happened, then you would say, “She said she had a headache,” because it’s no longer true.

No backshift needed when the situation is still in the future

We also don’t need to backshift to the verb when somebody said something about the future, and the event is still in the future.

Here’s an example:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Friday .”
  • “She said she ‘ll call me on Friday”, because Friday is still in the future from now.
  • It is also possible to say, “She said she ‘d (she would) call me on Friday.”
  • Both of them are correct, so the backshift in this case is optional.

Let’s look at a different situation:

  • On Monday, my friend said, “I ‘ll call you on Tuesday .”
  • “She said she ‘d  call me on Tuesday.” I must backshift because the event is NOT still in the future.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Review: Reported Speech, Backshift, & Exceptions

Quick review:

  • Normally in reported speech we backshift the verb, we put it in a verb tense that’s a little bit further in the past.
  • when the situation is still true
  • when the situation is still in the future

Reported Requests, Orders, and Questions

Those were the rules for reported statements, just regular sentences.

What about reported speech for questions, requests, and orders?

For reported requests, we use “asked (someone) to do something”:

  • “Please make a copy of this report.” (direct speech)
  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. (reported speech)

For reported orders, we use “told (someone) to do something:”

  • “Go to the bank.” (direct speech)
  • “He told me to go to the bank.” (reported speech)

The main verb stays in the infinitive with “to”:

  • She asked me to make a copy of the report. She asked me  make  a copy of the report.
  • He told me to go to the bank. He told me  go  to the bank.

For yes/no questions, we use “asked if” and “wanted to know if” in reported speech.

  • “Are you coming to the party?” (direct)
  • He asked if I was coming to the party. (reported)
  • “Did you turn off the TV?” (direct)
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.” (reported)

The main verb changes and back shifts according to the rules and exceptions we learned earlier.

Notice that we don’t use do/does/did in the reported question:

  • She wanted to know did I turn off the TV.
  • She wanted to know if I had turned off the TV.

For other questions that are not yes/no questions, we use asked/wanted to know (without “if”):

  • “When was the company founded?” (direct)
  • She asked when the company was founded.” (reported)
  • “What kind of car do you drive?” (direct)
  • He wanted to know what kind of car I drive. (reported)

Again, notice that we don’t use do/does/did in reported questions:

  • “Where does he work?”
  • She wanted to know  where does he work.
  • She wanted to know where he works.

Also, in questions with the verb “to be,” the word order changes in the reported question:

  • “Where were you born?” ([to be] + subject)
  • He asked where I was born. (subject + [to be])
  • He asked where was I born.

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

Reported Speech (Part 2) Quiz

Learn more about reported speech:

  • Reported speech: Perfect English Grammar
  • Reported speech: BJYU’s

If you want to take your English grammar to the next level, then my Advanced English Grammar Course is for you! It will help you master the details of the English language, with clear explanations of essential grammar topics, and lots of practice. I hope to see you inside!

I’ve got one last little exercise for you, and that is to write sentences using reported speech. Think about a conversation you’ve had in the past, and write about it – let’s see you put this into practice right away.

Master the details of English grammar:

Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions Espresso English

More Espresso English Lessons:

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Shayna Oliveira

Shayna Oliveira is the founder of Espresso English, where you can improve your English fast - even if you don’t have much time to study. Millions of students are learning English from her clear, friendly, and practical lessons! Shayna is a CELTA-certified teacher with 10+ years of experience helping English learners become more fluent in her English courses.

EnglishPost.org

Reported Speech: Structures and Examples

Reported speech (Indirect Speech) is how we represent the speech of other people or what we ourselves say.

Reported Speech focuses more on the content of what someone said rather than their exact words

The structure of the independent clause depends on whether the speaker is reporting a statement, a question, or a command.

Table of Contents

Reported Speech Rules and Examples

Present tenses and reported speech, past tenses and reported speech, reported speech examples, reported speech and the simple present, reported speech and present continuous, reported speech and the simple past, reported speech and the past continuous, reported speech and the present perfect, reported speech and the past perfect, reported speech and ‘ can ’ and ‘can’t’, reported speech and ‘ will ’ and ‘ won’t ’, reported speech and could and couldn’t, reported speech and the future continuous, reported questions exercises online, interested in learning more.

To turn sentences into Indirect Speech, you have to follow a set of rules and this is what makes reported speech difficult for some.

To make reported speech sentences, you need to manage English tenses well.

  • Present Simple Tense changes into Past Simple Tense
  • Present Progressive Tense changes into Past Progressive Tense
  • Present Perfect Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense
  • Present Perfect Progressive Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense
  • Past Simple Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense
  • Past Progressive Tense changes into Perfect Continuous Tense
  • Past Perfect Tense doesn’t change
  • Past Perfect Progressive Tense doesn’t change
  • Future Simple Tense changes into would
  • Future Progressive Tense changes into “would be”
  • Future Perfect Tense changes into “would have·
  • Future Perfect Progressive Tense changes into “would have been”

These are some examples of sentences using indirect speech

The present simple tense usually changes to the past simple

The present continuous tense usually changes to the past continuous.

The past simple tense usually changes to the past perfect

The past continuous tense usually changes to the past perfect continuous.

The present perfect tense usually changes to the past perfect tense

The past perfect tense does not change

 ‘ Can ’ and ‘can’t’ in direct speech change to ‘ could ’ and ‘ couldn’t ’

‘ Will ’ and ‘ won’t ’ in direct speech change to ‘ would ’ and ‘ wouldn’t ’

Could and couldn’t doesn’t change

Will ’ and ‘ won’t ’ in direct speech change to ‘ would ’ and ‘ wouldn’t ’

These are some online exercises to learn more about reported questions

  • Present Simple Reported Yes/No Question Exercise
  • Present Simple Reported Wh Question Exercise
  • Mixed Tense Reported Question Exercise
  • Present Simple Reported Statement Exercise
  • Present Continuous Reported Statement Exercise

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Manuel Campos, English Professor

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of EnglishPost.org, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English

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What is Reported Speech and how to use it? with Examples

Reported speech and indirect speech are two terms that refer to the same concept, which is the act of expressing what someone else has said. Reported speech is different from direct speech because it does not use the speaker's exact words. Instead, the reporting verb is used to introduce the reported speech, and the tense and pronouns are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. There are two main types of reported speech: statements and questions. 1. Reported Statements: In reported statements, the reporting verb is usually "said." The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and any pronouns referring to the speaker or listener are changed to reflect the shift in perspective. For example, "I am going to the store," becomes "He said that he was going to the store." 2. Reported Questions: In reported questions, the reporting verb is usually "asked." The tense in the reported speech changes from the present simple to the past simple, and the word order changes from a question to a statement. For example, "What time is it?" becomes "She asked what time it was." It's important to note that the tense shift in reported speech depends on the context and the time of the reported speech. Here are a few more examples: ●  Direct speech: "I will call you later." Reported speech: He said that he would call me later. ●  Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework. ●  Direct speech: "I love pizza." Reported speech: They said that they loved pizza.

When do we use reported speech?

Reported speech is used to report what someone else has said, thought, or written. It is often used in situations where you want to relate what someone else has said without quoting them directly. Reported speech can be used in a variety of contexts, such as in news reports, academic writing, and everyday conversation. Some common situations where reported speech is used include: News reports: Journalists often use reported speech to quote what someone said in an interview or press conference. Business and professional communication: In professional settings, reported speech can be used to summarize what was discussed in a meeting or to report feedback from a customer. Conversational English: In everyday conversations, reported speech is used to relate what someone else said. For example, "She told me that she was running late." Narration: In written narratives or storytelling, reported speech can be used to convey what a character said or thought.

How to make reported speech?

1. Change the pronouns and adverbs of time and place: In reported speech, you need to change the pronouns, adverbs of time and place to reflect the new speaker or point of view. Here's an example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the store now," she said. Reported speech: She said she was going to the store then. In this example, the pronoun "I" is changed to "she" and the adverb "now" is changed to "then." 2. Change the tense: In reported speech, you usually need to change the tense of the verb to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here's an example: Direct speech: "I will meet you at the park tomorrow," he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day. In this example, the present tense "will" is changed to the past tense "would." 3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as "say," "tell," "ask," or "inquire" depending on the context of the speech. Here's an example: Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked if I had finished my homework. In this example, the reporting verb "asked" is changed to "said" and "did" is changed to "had." Overall, when making reported speech, it's important to pay attention to the verb tense and the changes in pronouns, adverbs, and reporting verbs to convey the original speaker's message accurately.

How do I change the pronouns and adverbs in reported speech?

1. Changing Pronouns: In reported speech, the pronouns in the original statement must be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. Generally, the first person pronouns (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours) are changed according to the subject of the reporting verb, while the second and third person pronouns (you, your, yours, he, him, his, she, her, hers, it, its, they, them, their, theirs) are changed according to the object of the reporting verb. For example: Direct speech: "I love chocolate." Reported speech: She said she loved chocolate. Direct speech: "You should study harder." Reported speech: He advised me to study harder. Direct speech: "She is reading a book." Reported speech: They noticed that she was reading a book. 2. Changing Adverbs: In reported speech, the adverbs and adverbial phrases that indicate time or place may need to be changed to reflect the perspective of the new speaker. For example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the cinema tonight." Reported speech: She said she was going to the cinema that night. Direct speech: "He is here." Reported speech: She said he was there. Note that the adverb "now" usually changes to "then" or is omitted altogether in reported speech, depending on the context. It's important to keep in mind that the changes made to pronouns and adverbs in reported speech depend on the context and the perspective of the new speaker. With practice, you can become more comfortable with making these changes in reported speech.

How do I change the tense in reported speech?

In reported speech, the tense of the reported verb usually changes to reflect the change from direct to indirect speech. Here are some guidelines on how to change the tense in reported speech: Present simple in direct speech changes to past simple in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I like pizza." Reported speech: She said she liked pizza. Present continuous in direct speech changes to past continuous in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I am studying for my exam." Reported speech: He said he was studying for his exam. Present perfect in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I have finished my work." Reported speech: She said she had finished her work. Past simple in direct speech changes to past perfect in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I visited my grandparents last weekend." Reported speech: She said she had visited her grandparents the previous weekend. Will in direct speech changes to would in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I will help you with your project." Reported speech: He said he would help me with my project. Can in direct speech changes to could in reported speech. For example: Direct speech: "I can speak French." Reported speech: She said she could speak French. Remember that the tense changes in reported speech depend on the tense of the verb in the direct speech, and the tense you use in reported speech should match the time frame of the new speaker's perspective. With practice, you can become more comfortable with changing the tense in reported speech.

Do I always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech?

No, you do not always need to use a reporting verb in reported speech. However, using a reporting verb can help to clarify who is speaking and add more context to the reported speech. In some cases, the reported speech can be introduced by phrases such as "I heard that" or "It seems that" without using a reporting verb. For example: Direct speech: "I'm going to the cinema tonight." Reported speech with a reporting verb: She said she was going to the cinema tonight. Reported speech without a reporting verb: It seems that she's going to the cinema tonight. However, it's important to note that using a reporting verb can help to make the reported speech more formal and accurate. When using reported speech in academic writing or journalism, it's generally recommended to use a reporting verb to make the reporting more clear and credible. Some common reporting verbs include say, tell, explain, ask, suggest, and advise. For example: Direct speech: "I think we should invest in renewable energy." Reported speech with a reporting verb: She suggested that they invest in renewable energy. Overall, while using a reporting verb is not always required, it can be helpful to make the reported speech more clear and accurate.

How to use reported speech to report questions and commands?

1. Reporting Questions: When reporting questions, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "asked" or "wondered" followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here's an example: Direct speech: "What time is the meeting?" Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was. Note that the question mark is not used in reported speech. 2. Reporting Commands: When reporting commands, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "ordered" or "told" followed by the person, to + infinitive, and any additional information. Here's an example: Direct speech: "Clean your room!" Reported speech: She ordered me to clean my room. Note that the exclamation mark is not used in reported speech. In both cases, the tense of the reported verb should be changed accordingly. For example, present simple changes to past simple, and future changes to conditional. Here are some examples: Direct speech: "Will you go to the party with me?" Reported speech: She asked if I would go to the party with her. Direct speech: "Please bring me a glass of water." Reported speech: She requested that I bring her a glass of water. Remember that when using reported speech to report questions and commands, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately.

How to make questions in reported speech?

To make questions in reported speech, you need to use an introductory phrase such as "asked" or "wondered" followed by the question word (if applicable), subject, and verb. You also need to change the word order to make it a statement. Here are the steps to make questions in reported speech: Identify the reporting verb: The first step is to identify the reporting verb in the sentence. Common reporting verbs used to report questions include "asked," "inquired," "wondered," and "wanted to know." Change the tense and pronouns: Next, you need to change the tense and pronouns in the sentence to reflect the shift from direct to reported speech. The tense of the verb is usually shifted back one tense (e.g. from present simple to past simple) in reported speech. The pronouns should also be changed as necessary to reflect the shift in perspective from the original speaker to the reporting speaker. Use an appropriate question word: If the original question contained a question word (e.g. who, what, where, when, why, how), you should use the same question word in the reported question. If the original question did not contain a question word, you can use "if" or "whether" to introduce the reported question. Change the word order: In reported speech, the word order of the question changes from the inverted form to a normal statement form. The subject usually comes before the verb, unless the original question started with a question word. Here are some examples of reported questions: Direct speech: "What time is the meeting?" Reported speech: She asked what time the meeting was. Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" Reported speech: He wanted to know if I had finished my homework. Direct speech: "Where are you going?" Reported speech: She wondered where I was going. Remember that when making questions in reported speech, the introductory phrases and verb tenses are important to convey the intended meaning accurately. Here you can find more examples of direct and indirect questions

What is the difference between reported speech an indirect speech?

In reported or indirect speech, you are retelling or reporting what someone said using your own words. The tense of the reported speech is usually shifted back one tense from the tense used in the original statement. For example, if someone said, "I am going to the store," in reported speech you would say, "He/she said that he/she was going to the store." The main difference between reported speech and indirect speech is that reported speech usually refers to spoken language, while indirect speech can refer to both spoken and written language. Additionally, indirect speech is a broader term that includes reported speech as well as other ways of expressing what someone else has said, such as paraphrasing or summarizing.

Examples of direct speech to reported

1. Direct speech: "I am hungry," she said. Reported speech: She said she was hungry. 2. Direct speech: "Can you pass the salt, please?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked her to pass the salt. 3. Direct speech: "I will meet you at the cinema," he said. Reported speech: He said he would meet her at the cinema. 4. Direct speech: "I have been working on this project for hours," she said. Reported speech: She said she had been working on the project for hours. 5. Direct speech: "What time does the train leave?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked what time the train left. 6. Direct speech: "I love playing the piano," she said. Reported speech: She said she loved playing the piano. 7. Direct speech: "I am going to the grocery store," he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to the grocery store. 8. Direct speech: "Did you finish your homework?" the teacher asked. Reported speech: The teacher asked if he had finished his homework. 9. Direct speech: "I want to go to the beach," she said. Reported speech: She said she wanted to go to the beach. 10. Direct speech: "Do you need help with that?" he asked. Reported speech: He asked if she needed help with that. 11. Direct speech: "I can't come to the party," he said. Reported speech: He said he couldn't come to the party. 12. Direct speech: "Please don't leave me," she said. Reported speech: She begged him not to leave her. 13. Direct speech: "I have never been to London before," he said. Reported speech: He said he had never been to London before. 14. Direct speech: "Where did you put my phone?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked where she had put her phone. 15. Direct speech: "I'm sorry for being late," he said. Reported speech: He apologized for being late. 16. Direct speech: "I need some help with this math problem," she said. Reported speech: She said she needed some help with the math problem. 17. Direct speech: "I am going to study abroad next year," he said. Reported speech: He said he was going to study abroad the following year. 18. Direct speech: "Can you give me a ride to the airport?" she asked. Reported speech: She asked him to give her a ride to the airport. 19. Direct speech: "I don't know how to fix this," he said. Reported speech: He said he didn't know how to fix it. 20. Direct speech: "I hate it when it rains," she said. Reported speech: She said she hated it when it rained.

What is Direct and Indirect Speech?

Direct and indirect speech are two different ways of reporting spoken or written language. Let's delve into the details and provide some examples. Click here to read more

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  • B1-B2 grammar

Reported speech

Daisy has just had an interview for a summer job. 

Instructions

As you watch the video, look at the examples of reported speech. They are in  red  in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, reported speech correctly.

Sophie:  Mmm, it’s so nice to be chilling out at home after all that running around.

Ollie: Oh, yeah, travelling to glamorous places for a living must be such a drag!

Ollie: Mum, you can be so childish sometimes. Hey, I wonder how Daisy’s getting on in her job interview.

Sophie: Oh, yes, she said she was having it at four o’clock, so it’ll have finished by now. That’ll be her ... yes. Hi, love. How did it go?

Daisy: Well, good I think, but I don’t really know. They said they’d phone later and let me know.

Sophie: What kind of thing did they ask you?

Daisy: They asked if I had any experience with people, so I told them about helping at the school fair and visiting old people at the home, that sort of stuff. But I think they meant work experience.

Sophie: I’m sure what you said was impressive. They can’t expect you to have had much work experience at your age.

Daisy:  And then they asked me what acting I had done, so I told them that I’d had a main part in the school play, and I showed them a bit of the video, so that was cool.

Sophie:  Great!

Daisy: Oh, and they also asked if I spoke any foreign languages.

Sophie: Languages?

Daisy: Yeah, because I might have to talk to tourists, you know.

Sophie: Oh, right, of course.

Daisy: So that was it really. They showed me the costume I’ll be wearing if I get the job. Sending it over ...

Ollie: Hey, sis, I heard that Brad Pitt started out as a giant chicken too! This could be your big break!

Daisy: Ha, ha, very funny.

Sophie: Take no notice, darling. I’m sure you’ll be a marvellous chicken.

We use reported speech when we want to tell someone what someone said. We usually use a reporting verb (e.g. say, tell, ask, etc.) and then change the tense of what was actually said in direct speech.

So, direct speech is what someone actually says? Like 'I want to know about reported speech'?

Yes, and you report it with a reporting verb.

He said he wanted to know about reported speech.

I said, I want and you changed it to he wanted .

Exactly. Verbs in the present simple change to the past simple; the present continuous changes to the past continuous; the present perfect changes to the past perfect; can changes to could ; will changes to would ; etc.

She said she was having the interview at four o’clock. (Direct speech: ' I’m having the interview at four o’clock.') They said they’d phone later and let me know. (Direct speech: ' We’ll phone later and let you know.')

OK, in that last example, you changed you to me too.

Yes, apart from changing the tense of the verb, you also have to think about changing other things, like pronouns and adverbs of time and place.

'We went yesterday.'  > She said they had been the day before. 'I’ll come tomorrow.' >  He said he’d come the next day.

I see, but what if you’re reporting something on the same day, like 'We went yesterday'?

Well, then you would leave the time reference as 'yesterday'. You have to use your common sense. For example, if someone is saying something which is true now or always, you wouldn’t change the tense.

'Dogs can’t eat chocolate.' > She said that dogs can’t eat chocolate. 'My hair grows really slowly.' >  He told me that his hair grows really slowly.

What about reporting questions?

We often use ask + if/whether , then change the tenses as with statements. In reported questions we don’t use question forms after the reporting verb.

'Do you have any experience working with people?' They asked if I had any experience working with people. 'What acting have you done?' They asked me what acting I had done .

Is there anything else I need to know about reported speech?

One thing that sometimes causes problems is imperative sentences.

You mean like 'Sit down, please' or 'Don’t go!'?

Exactly. Sentences that start with a verb in direct speech need a to + infinitive in reported speech.

She told him to be good. (Direct speech: 'Be good!') He told them not to forget. (Direct speech: 'Please don’t forget.')

OK. Can I also say 'He asked me to sit down'?

Yes. You could say 'He told me to …' or 'He asked me to …' depending on how it was said.

OK, I see. Are there any more reporting verbs?

Yes, there are lots of other reporting verbs like promise , remind , warn , advise , recommend , encourage which you can choose, depending on the situation. But say , tell and ask are the most common.

Great. I understand! My teacher said reported speech was difficult.

And I told you not to worry!

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The reported speech.

reported speech r

Reported speech

1. reported speech.

reported speech r

2. When do we use reported speech ?

When we want to express what someone has told us we have two options: direct speech or reported speech .

A sentence in reported speech will generally be introduced by a verb in the past. The most common are say and tell .

We use reported speech for three different types of sentences: statements, questions and requests or commands.

3. Reported speech  for statements

When we use reported speech , we take the verb tense of the original sentence as a reference and we move it one tense back. Now we will show a table with the original verb tense and its corresponding verb tense in reported speech .

1  Modals could, should, ought to, would and might  don't change when we turn them into  reported speech.

4. Reported speech  for questions

When we use reported speech to express a question we also move the verb tense of the original sentence one tense back as with the statements, but the sentence no longer has the structure of the question and takes the structure of a statement. The sentence in reported speech will be introduced by the verb ask .

A question can be preceded or not by a  question word (who, when...)

The particle  if can be replaced by the word whether .

Below there are a few examples in different verb tenses.

5. Reported speech  for requests and commands

When we use reported speech to express a request, the verb of the sentence in reported speech will be in infinitive preceded by the particle to , and will be introduced by the verb ask . The verb tell is used for commands. If the sentence is negative, we will place the particle not in front of the to .

6. Comments

There are a few things to keep in mind when using reported speech :

reported speech r

7. Reported speech  with  reporting verbs

To introduce a sentence in reported speech , not only are the verbs ask , tell and say used, but other verbs can also be used ( reporting verbs ) and the way of building the sentence will vary according to them.

Below we show the different structures with some of the most common reporting verbs :

Some of these  reporting verbs  such as: decide, deny, suggest, insist, recommend ... can also be followed by the particle  that  and a sentence.

Reported Speech in English Grammar

Direct speech, changing the tense (backshift), no change of tenses, question sentences, demands/requests, expressions with who/what/how + infinitive, typical changes of time and place.

  • Lingolia Plus English

Introduction

In English grammar, we use reported speech to say what another person has said. We can use their exact words with quotation marks , this is known as direct speech , or we can use indirect speech . In indirect speech , we change the tense and pronouns to show that some time has passed. Indirect speech is often introduced by a reporting verb or phrase such as ones below.

Learn the rules for writing indirect speech in English with Lingolia’s simple explanation. In the exercises, you can test your grammar skills.

When turning direct speech into indirect speech, we need to pay attention to the following points:

  • changing the pronouns Example: He said, “ I saw a famous TV presenter.” He said (that) he had seen a famous TV presenter.
  • changing the information about time and place (see the table at the end of this page) Example: He said, “I saw a famous TV presenter here yesterday .” He said (that) he had seen a famous TV presenter there the day before .
  • changing the tense (backshift) Example: He said, “She was eating an ice-cream at the table where you are sitting .” He said (that) she had been eating an ice-cream at the table where I was sitting .

If the introductory clause is in the simple past (e.g. He said ), the tense has to be set back by one degree (see the table). The term for this in English is backshift .

The verbs could, should, would, might, must, needn’t, ought to, used to normally do not change.

If the introductory clause is in the simple present , however (e.g. He says ), then the tense remains unchanged, because the introductory clause already indicates that the statement is being immediately repeated (and not at a later point in time).

In some cases, however, we have to change the verb form.

When turning questions into indirect speech, we have to pay attention to the following points:

  • As in a declarative sentence, we have to change the pronouns, the time and place information, and set the tense back ( backshift ).
  • Instead of that , we use a question word. If there is no question word, we use whether / if instead. Example: She asked him, “ How often do you work?” → She asked him how often he worked. He asked me, “Do you know any famous people?” → He asked me if/whether I knew any famous people.
  • We put the subject before the verb in question sentences. (The subject goes after the auxiliary verb in normal questions.) Example: I asked him, “ Have you met any famous people before?” → I asked him if/whether he had met any famous people before.
  • We don’t use the auxiliary verb do for questions in indirect speech. Therefore, we sometimes have to conjugate the main verb (for third person singular or in the simple past ). Example: I asked him, “What do you want to tell me?” → I asked him what he wanted to tell me.
  • We put the verb directly after who or what in subject questions. Example: I asked him, “ Who is sitting here?” → I asked him who was sitting there.

We don’t just use indirect questions to report what another person has asked. We also use them to ask questions in a very polite manner.

When turning demands and requests into indirect speech, we only need to change the pronouns and the time and place information. We don’t have to pay attention to the tenses – we simply use an infinitive .

If it is a negative demand, then in indirect speech we use not + infinitive .

To express what someone should or can do in reported speech, we leave out the subject and the modal verb and instead we use the construction who/what/where/how + infinitive.

Say or Tell?

The words say and tell are not interchangeable. say = say something tell = say something to someone

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Reported Speech (Indirect Speech)

Exercises on reported speech.

If we report what another person has said, we usually do not use the speaker’s exact words (direct speech), but reported (indirect) speech. Therefore, you need to learn how to transform direct speech into reported speech. The structure is a little different depending on whether you want to transform a statement, question or request.

When transforming statements, check whether you have to change:

  • present tense verbs (3rd person singular)
  • place and time expressions
  • tenses (backshift)

→ more on statements in reported speech

When transforming questions, check whether you have to change:

Also note that you have to:

  • transform the question into an indirect question
  • use the interrogative or if / whether

→ more on questions in reported speech

→ more on requests in reported speech

Additional Information and Exeptions

Apart from the above mentioned basic rules, there are further aspects that you should keep in mind, for example:

  • main clauses connected with and / but
  • tense of the introductory clause
  • reported speech for difficult tenses
  • exeptions for backshift
  • requests with must , should , ought to and let’s

→ more on additional information and exeptions in reported speech

Statements in Reported Speech

  • no backshift – change of pronouns
  • no backshift – change of pronouns and places
  • with backshift
  • with backshift and change of place and time expressions

Questions in Reported Speech

Requests in reported speech.

  • Exercise 1 – requests (positive)
  • Exercise 2 – requests (negative)
  • Exercise 3 – requests (mixed)

Mixed Exercises on Reported Speech

  • Exercise on reported speech with and without backshift

Grammar in Texts

  • „ The Canterville Ghost “ (highlight direct speech and reported speech)

Time and Place in Reported Speech

When we report something, we may need to make changes to:

  • time (now, tomorrow)
  • place (here, this room)

If we report something around the same time, then we probably do not need to make any changes to time words . But if we report something at a different time, we need to change time words. Look at these example sentences:

  • He said: "It was hot yesterday ." → He said that it had been hot the day before .
  • He said: "We are going to swim tomorrow ." → He said they were going to swim the next day .

Here is a list of common time words, showing how you change them for reported speech:

Place words

If we are in the same place when we report something, then we do not need to make any changes to place words . But if we are in a different place when we report something, then we need to change the place words. Look at these example sentences:

  • He said: "It is cold in here ." → He said that it was cold in there .
  • He said: "How much is this book ?" → He asked how much the book was.

Here are some common place words, showing how you change them for reported speech:

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  • Reported Speech

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Reported Speech How does it Work?

Indirect speech or Reported speech is just a way of expressing your intent in questions, statements or other phrases, without essentially quoting them outrightly as the way it is done in indirect speech.

Reported Speech Rules

To understand Reported Speech Grammar and Reported Verbs, you need to first understand reported speech rules and how it works. Here are some types of reported speech:

Reported Statements

Reported speech is used when someone says a sentence, like, "I'm going to the movie tonight". Later, we want to tell a 3rd person what the first person is doing.

It works like this:

We use a reporting verb i.e 'say' or 'tell'. In the present tense, just put in 'he says.

Direct Speech: I like burgers.

Reported Speech: He says (that) he likes burgers.

You don't need to change the tense, but you do need to switch the 'person' from 'I' to 'he’. You also need to change words like 'my' and 'your'.

But, in case the reporting verb is in the past tense, then change the tenses in the reported speech itself.

Reported Questions

Reported questions to go like 

Direct Speech: Where do you reside?

We make the change to reported speech by-

It is similar to reported statements. The tense changes are exact, and we keep the question’s word. But we need to change the grammar of that normal sentence into positive. For eg:

Reported Speech: He asked me where I resided.

The direct speech question is in the present simple tense. We make a present simple question with 'do' or 'does'. For that, I need to take that away. Then change the verb to the past simple. 

Direct Speech: Where is Jolly?

Reported Speech: He asked me where Jolly was.

The direct question is the present simple of 'be'. We change the question form of the present simple of being by changing the position of the subject and the verb. So, change them back before putting the verb into the past simple.

Here Are Some More Examples

Reported Requests

The reported speech goes a long way. What if a person asks you to do something politely or make a request? It’s called a reported request. For example

Direct Speech: Close the door, please / Could you close the door please? / Would you mind closing the door, please?

All these requests mean the same, so we don't need to report every word there when we tell a 3rd person about it. 

We can simply use 'ask me + to + infinitive':

Reported Speech: They asked me to close the door.

Direct Speech: Please be punctual.

Reported Speech: They asked us to be punctual.

Reported Orders

And lastly, how about when someone doesn't ask that politely? This is known as an 'order' in English, which is when someone tells you to do something pretty much directly. This is called a reported order. For example

Direct Speech: Stand up right now!

We make this into a reported speech in the same way as that for a request. Just use 'tell' rather than 'ask':

Reported Speech: She told me to stand up right now.

Time Expressions within the Ambit of Reported Speech

Sometimes when we want to change the direct speech into reported speech, we will have to change the time expressions too. We don't necessarily always have to do that. However, It depends on when we heard the speech in indirect form and when we said the speech in reported form. 

For Example,

It's Sunday. Kiran Ma’am says "I'm leaving today".

If You tell someone on Sunday, You will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving today".

If you tell someone on Tuesday, You will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving yesterday".

If you tell someone on Friday, you will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving on Sunday ".

If you tell someone a month later, you will say "Kiran Ma’am said she was leaving that day".

So, technically there's no easy way to convert. You need to put in real effort and have to think about it when the direct speech is said.

Here's a Table of How Some Conversions can be Made 

now can be converted to then / at that time

today can be converted to yesterday / that day / Tuesday / the 27 th of June

yesterday can be converted to the day before yesterday / the day before / Wednesday / the 5th of December

last night can be converted to the night before, Thursday night

last week can be converted to the week before / the previous week

tomorrow can be converted to today / the next day / the following day / Friday

Now Let us Check our Understanding Through this Table

This is all about reported speech. English grammar is a tricky thing given both the rules and practice. Reading these rules solely will not help you to get a strong grasp of them. You also have to practice reported speech sentences in practical life to know how and when they can be used.

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FAQs on Reported Speech

1. How to convert present tenses to reported speech and give some examples.

There are certain rules to follow while converting sentences to reported speech. We need to manage tenses also.

Usually, the present sentences change to simple past tense.

Ex: I do yoga every morning

She said that she did yoga every morning.

I play cricket a lot

He said that he played cricket a lot 

Usually The present continuous tense changes to the past continuous tense. 

Ex: My friend is watching a movie.

She said that her friend was watching a movie.

We are eating dinner

They said that they were eating dinner.

Usually, the  Present Perfect Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense

Ex: I have been to the USA

She told me that she had been to the USA.

She has finished her task.

She said that she had finished her task.

Usually the Present Perfect Progressive Tense changes into Past Perfect Tense

2. How to convert present tenses to reported speech and give some examples.

Usually the Past Simple Tense changes into the Past Perfect Tense.

Ex: He arrived on Friday

He said that he had arrived on Friday.

My mom enjoyed the stay here

He said that his mom had enjoyed the stay there.

Usually, the Past Progressive Tense changes into the Perfect Continuous Tense

Ex: I was playing the cricket

He said that he had been playing cricket.

My husband was cooking

She said that her husband had been cooking.

Usually, the Past Perfect Tense doesn’t change.

Ex: She had worked hard.

She said that she had worked hard.

And also the Past Perfect Progressive Tense doesn’t change.

3. State the rules for conversion of future tenses into reported speech

There are rules to follow while converting the future tenses to reported speech.

In general, the Future Simple Tense changes into would. And also the future Progressive Tense changes into “would be”. The Future Perfect Tense changes into “would have”. The Future Perfect Progressive Tense changes into “would have been”.

Ex: I will be attending the wedding.

She said that she would be attending the wedding.

4. Give examples for conversion of  ‘can ‘, ‘can’t’ and ‘will’,’’won’t’ 

5. Give some examples for reported requests and reported orders.  

Officials sound alarm about new Russian ‘space threat’

Russia has been experimenting with ways to disable satellites, raising concerns that classified intelligence about a new weapon could indicate a strategic threat to national security.

Russia is developing a space-based military capability that members of Congress and U.S. officials worry could pose a significant threat to the United States and its allies, possibly by damaging critical intelligence or communications satellites with a nuclear weapon, according to officials familiar with the matter.

The precise nature of the system was unclear. One person referred to it as “a new Russian space threat capability.” Some officials were alarmed after examining classified intelligence on Wednesday and warned of ominous consequences; one member of Congress called it a potential “geo-strategic game changer.” Several lawmakers stressed there was no imminent danger, but they urged the Biden administration to take countermeasures soon.

The Russian government has experimented with the use of nuclear explosions or directed energy to disable satellites, according to one U.S. official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information. Experts have raised concerns that a nation could detonate a nuclear weapon in space to interfere with satellites through the emission of radiation.

Russia also has tested antisatellite weapons. In 2021, after it launched a missile from Earth that destroyed a Soviet-era satellite , a senior U.S. military official warned that Russia was “deploying capabilities to actively deny access to and use of space by the United States and its allies.”

A day of fevered speculation about what the supposed space-weapon might be was triggered by an unusual and cryptic public statement Wednesday by a leading member of Congress, who urged lawmakers to review classified information about what he called a “serious national security threat.”

Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did not specify the nature of the threat or the country supposedly wielding it.

In a separate letter to fellow House members, Turner and Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, the committee’s top Democrat, said the committee “has identified an urgent matter with regard to a destabilizing foreign military capability that should be known by all congressional policymakers.”

The lawmakers said the full committee voted on Tuesday to make the intelligence available to all House members for their in-person review in a secure room at the Capitol.

The information was obtained using authorities granted to the intelligence community under Section 702 of a key electronic surveillance law that is being hotly debated in Congress, according to officials with knowledge of the matter.

Turner, a strong proponent of the surveillance authority, appears to want to use the information about the adversary capability to convince skeptical colleagues that 702 is an indispensable intelligence tool, one official said.

Himes cautioned that the information Turner highlighted doesn’t concern a “panic now” issue. “It is a serious national security issue in the medium-to-long term that the Congress and the administration need to focus on,” said Himes. “But no need to buy gold.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) also urged caution. “I want to assure the American people there is no need for public alarm. We are going to work together to address this matter, as we do all sensitive matters that are classified,” he told reporters.

One Capitol Hill aide expressed annoyance at Turner for alerting the public about the information ahead of a planned briefing for top House lawmakers in the “Gang of Eight,” who are traditionally privy to some of the most sensitive intelligence information.

Lawmakers in the House and Senate have been in possession of the raw intelligence concerning the foreign capability for several weeks and were preparing to learn how the administration might respond, this aide said. Turner’s disclosure could make that response more difficult if it revealed information about how the intelligence was obtained in the first place, the aide said.

Turner, in his initial statement, called on the Biden administration to declassify all information about the threat.

President Biden was made aware of the threat earlier and directed national security adviser Jake Sullivan to offer a briefing to senior lawmakers last week. “It is highly unusual, in fact, for the national security adviser to do that,” Sullivan told reporters at the White House. He questioned why Turner chose to make the matter public, considering that Sullivan plans to meet with members on the Hill on Thursday, along with intelligence and defense personnel.

That meeting, he said, “has been on the books” for Thursday. “So I am a bit surprised that Congressman Turner came out publicly today in advance of the meeting … for me to go sit with him alongside our intelligence and defense professionals tomorrow. That’s his choice to do that,” Sullivan said.

Asked if the meeting he requested was to discuss the same “serious national security threat” that Turner referred to in his statement, Sullivan demurred. “I’ll leave it to you to draw whatever connections you want,” he said. “I’m not in position to say anything further from this podium at this time.”

Sullivan added that the Biden administration “has gone further, and in more creative, more strategic ways,” to declassify intelligence “in the national interest of the United States than any administration in history.” But “at the same time, we, of course, have to continue to prioritize and focus very much on the issue of sources and methods.”

Karen DeYoung, Abigail Hauslohner and Marianna Sotomayor contributed to this report.

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Remarks by President   Biden on the Reported Death of Aleksey   Navalny

Roosevelt Room

12:37 P.M. EST THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon.  I — I’m heading off to East Palestine in — in a moment, but I wanted to say a few things this morning about Aleksey Navalny. You know, like millions of people around the world, I am literally both not surprised and outraged by the news — the reported death of Aleksey Navalny. He bravely stood up to the corruption, the violence, and the — the — all the — all the bad things that the Putin government was doing.  In response, Putin had him poisoned.  He had him arrested.  He had him prosecuted for fabricated crimes.  He sentenced him to prison.  He was held in isolation.  Even all that didn’t stop him from calling out Putin’s lies.  Even in prison, he was a powerful voice of the truth, which is kind of amazing when you think about it. And he could have lived safely in exile after the assassination attempt on him in 2020 — which nearly killed him, I might add.  And — but he — he was traveling outside the country at the time.  Instead, he returned to Russia.  He returned to Russia knowing he’d likely be imprisoned or even killed if he continued his work.  But he did it anyway, because he believed so deeply in his country — in Russia.   Reports of his death, if they’re true — and I have no reason to believe they’re not — Russian authorities are going to tell their own story.  But make no mistake — make no mistake, Putin is responsible for Navalny’s death.  Putin is responsible.   What has happened to Navalny is yet more proof of Putin’s brutality.  No one should be fooled — not in Russia, not at home, not anywhere in the world.  Putin does not only target  his  [the] citizens of other countries, as we’ve seen what’s going on in Ukraine right now, he also inflicts terrible crimes on his own people.  And as people across Russia and around the world are mourning Navalny today because he was so many things that Putin was not: He was brave.  He was principled.  He was dedicated to building a Russia where the rule of law existed and of — where it applied to everybody.  Navalny believed in that Russia — that Russia.  He knew it was a cause worth fighting for and, obviously, even dying for.   This tragedy reminds us of the stakes of this moment.  We have to provide the funding so Ukraine can keep defending itself against Putin’s vicious onslaughts and war crimes.  You know, there was a bipartisan Senate vote that passed overwhelmingly in the United States Senate to fund Ukraine.  Now, as I’ve said before, and I mean this in the literal sense: History is watching.  History is watching the House of Representatives.  The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten.  It’s going to go down in the pages of history.  It really is.  It’s consequential. And the clock is ticking.  And this has to happen.  We have to help now.  You know, we have to realize what we’re dealing with with Putin.  All of us should reject the dangerous statements made by the previous president that invited Russia to invade our NATO Allies if they weren’t paying up.  He said if an Ally did not pay their dues, he’d encourage Russia to, quote, “Do whatever the hell they want.”  I — let me — I guess I should clear my mind here a little bit and not say what I’m really thinking.  But let me be clear: This is an outrageous thing for a president to say.  I can’t fathom.  I can’t fathom.  From Truman on, they’re rolling over in their graves hearing this. As long as I’m President, America stands by our sacred commitment to our NATO Allies as they have stood by their commitments to us repeatedly.  Putin and the whole world should know: If any adversary were to attack us, our NATO Allies would back us.  And if Putin were to attack a NATO Ally, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory.  Now is the time for even greater unity among our NATO Allies to stand up to the threat that Putin’s Russia poses. You know, I send my deepest condolences to Aleksey’s staff and supporters who are going to continue his work despite this loss, despite all of Putin’s desperate attempts to stamp out the opposition.  And most of all, to his family, especially to his wife, his daughter, and his son, who have already sacrificed so much for their family and a shared dream for a better future for Russia.  So, I just want to say God bless Aleksey Navalny.  His courage will not be forgotten.  And I’m sure it will not be the only courage we see coming out of Russia in the near term.  Thank you.  I’ll be happy to take a couple questions. Q    Sir, first, was this an assassination? THE PRESIDENT:  The answer is, I — we don’t know exactly what happened, but there is no doubt that the death of Navalny was a consequence of something that Putin and his — and his thugs did.  Q    And to be clear, you warned Vladimir Putin when you were in Geneva of “devastating” consequences if Navalny died in Russian custody.  What consequences should he and Russia face? THE PRESIDENT:  That was three years ago.  In the meantime, they faced a hell of a lot of consequences.  They’ve lost and/or had wounded over 350,000 Russian soldiers.  They’ve made it into a position where they’ve been subjected to great sanctions across the board.  And we’re contemplating what else could be done.  But the — the — what we were talking about at the time there were no actions being taken against Russia.  And that — look at all that’s transpired since then. Q    Can you say whether you’re — Q    How do you think this — Q    — whether you’re looking at increasing sanctions on Russia right now? THE PRESIDENT:  We’re looking at a whole number of options.  That’s all I’ll say right now. Q    Is there anything you can do to get ammunition to the Ukrainians without the supplemental from Congress? THE PRESIDENT:  No, but it’s about time they step up — don’t you think? — instead of going on a two-week vacation.  Two weeks they’re walking away.  Two weeks.  What are they thinking?  My God, this is bizarre.  And it’s just reinforcing all the concern and — and almost — I won’t say “panic,” but real concern about the United States being a reliable ally.  This is outrageous.  Q    Are you more confident now that you’ll get the Ukraine aid given what’s happened today? THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I hope to God it helps.  But I mean, the idea we need anything more to get the Ukraine aid — I mean, — I mean, this is — in light of a former president’s statement that — saying Russia, if — if they haven’t paid their dues to us, go get them.  Come on.  What are these guys doing?  What are they doing? Q    Sir, how concerned are you about the anti-satellite capability that Russia is developing?  And what is your administration planning to do in response? THE PRESIDENT:  First of all, there is no nuclear threat to the people of America or anywhere else in the world with what Russia is doing at the moment.  Number one. Number two, anything that they’re doing and/or they will do relates to satellites and space and damaging those satellites, potentially.  Number three, I — there is no evidence that they have made a decision to go forward with doing anything in space either.  So, what we found out: There was a capacity to launch a system into space that could theoretically do something that was damaging.  Hadn’t happened yet.  And my expect- — I — my hope is it will not.  Q    Mr. President, just quickly — AIDE:  Thank you all.  Thank you. (Cross-talk.)  Q    Quickly, Mr. President, have — THE PRESIDENT:  I’ll — I’ll take one more. Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Switching gears for a moment.  Have the Israelis presented a credible evacuation plan for the nearly 1.5 million displaced Palestinians sheltering in Rafah?  And what would the consequences be for Israel if they move ahead with a full-scale ground invasion without clear measures to protect civilians there? THE PRESIDENT:  Well, first of all, I’ve had extensive conversations with the Prime Minister of Israel over the last several days — almost an hour each.  And I’ve made the case — and I feel very strongly about it — that there has to be a — a temporary ceasefire to get the prisoners out, to get the hostages out.  And that is underway.  I’m still hopeful that that can be done.  And in the meantime, I don’t anticipate — I’m hoping that that you — that the Israelis will not make any massive land invasion in the meantime.  So, it’s my expectation that’s not going to happen.  There has to be a ceasefire temporarily to get those hostages — and, by the way, there are — we’re in a situation where there are American hostages, American citizens that are being held hostage.  It’s not just — not just Israelis; it’s American hostages as well.  And, you know, my hope and expectation is that we’ll get this hostage deal.  We’ll bring the Americans home.  And the deal is been negotiated now, and we’re going to see where it takes us. (Cross-talk.) Q    An FBI — an FBI informant — an FBI informant at the center of the impeachment inquiry into you has been indicted for allegedly lying.  Your reaction to that, and should the inquiry be dropped? THE PRESIDENT:  He is lying, and it should be dropped.  And it’s just been a — it’s been an outrageous effort from the beginning.  What he did — (Cross-talk.)  THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’m serious. (Cross-talk.)  THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you, all.  See you in Ohio.  12:47 P.M. EST

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  • English Grammar
  • Grammar Exercises
  • Reported Speech Exercises For Class 10

Reported Speech Exercises with Answers for Class 10

One of the English grammar concepts that almost all of us would have studied in our junior classes is reported speech . Having a clear understanding of reported speech helps students use sentences correctly. This article provides reported speech exercises for class 10 students.

reported speech r

Reported Speech Exercises for Class 10 with Answers

Here is an exercise on the transformation of direct speech to indirect speech. Go through the following sentences, work them out and then check your answers to assess how far you have understood their usage.

Change as directed

Read the following sentences and change them into reported speech.

  • Mimi said, “I have been writing this letter.”
  • I said, “Sam’s driving the car.”
  • My uncle said, “I am cooking lunch.”
  • My brother said, “I had already eaten.”
  • The old lady said to the girl, “Where do you come from?”
  • Jon said, “I like to play rugby.”
  • My mother said, “I get up early every morning.”
  • The maths teacher said, “Three divided by three is one.”
  • Mohit said, “Switzerland is a very beautiful country.”
  • Ruben said, “It is very cold outside.”
  • The teacher said, “The French Revolution took place in 1789.”
  • Uma said, “I saw a Royal Bengal Tiger in the zoo.”
  • Luke said, “I can do this homework.”
  • Aswini said to her mother, “I have passed the test”.
  • Daphne said to Antony, “I will go to London tomorrow.”
  • The boy said, “My father is sleeping.”
  • The traffic police said to us, “Where are you going?”
  • The man shouted, “Let me go.”
  • Shivina said, “Alas! I am lost.”
  • “I know her contact number,” said Helena.
  • Stefen said, “My granny is making pasta.”
  • Raj said to Simran, “Have you ever been to the National Museum?”
  • Anish said to Sid, “Please lend me the book.”
  • The teacher said to the parents, “Shelly is working very hard.”
  • Joshua said, “I have completed my assignment.”
  • I said to Alka, “How long will you stay here?”
  • The child told his dad, “I want an ice cream.”
  • Meera said, “I am not feeling well.”
  • The teacher said to Vivek, “Draw the diagram of the plant’s parts.”
  • Irin said, “I am playing the piano.”
  • My mother said to me, “Help me carry this bag.”
  • Rahul said, “My sister is very helpful.”
  • The news reporter said, “The flight will be delayed by a few hours due to heavy rains.”
  • Urmi said to her mother, “I want a slice of pizza.”
  • I said to Daniel, “Are you reading this book?”
  • Mimi said that she had been writing that letter.
  • I said that Sam was driving the car.
  • My uncle said that he was cooking lunch.
  • My brother said that he had already eaten.
  • The old lady asked the girl where she came from.
  • Jon said that he likes to play rugby.
  • My mother said that she gets up early every morning.
  • The maths teacher said that three divided by three is one.
  • Mohit said that Switzerland was a very beautiful country.
  • Ruben said that it was very cold outside.
  • The teacher said that the French Revolution took place in 1789.
  • Uma said that she saw a Royal Bengal Tiger in the zoo.
  • Luke said that he could do that homework.
  • Aswini told her mother that she had passed the test.
  • Daphne informed Antony that she would go to London the next day.
  • The boy said that his father was sleeping.
  • The traffic police asked us where we were going.
  • The man shouted to them to let him go.
  • Shivina exclaimed sadly that she was lost.
  • Helena said that she knew her contact number.
  • Stefen said that his granny was making pasta.
  • Raj asked Simran if she had ever been to the National Museum.
  • Anish requested Sid to lend him the book.
  • The teacher told the parents that Shelly was working very hard.
  • Joshua said that he had completed his assignment.
  • I asked Alka how long she would stay there.
  • The child told his dad that he wants an ice cream.
  • Meera said that she was not feeling well.
  • The teacher instructed Vivek to draw the diagram of the plant’s parts.
  • Irin said that she was playing the piano.
  • My mother asked me to help her carry the bag.
  • Rahul said that his sister was very helpful.
  • The news reporter said that the flight would be delayed by a few hours due to heavy rains.
  • Urmi said to her mother that she wanted a slice of pizza.
  • I asked Daniel if he was reading that book.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is direct narration.

When the actual words/sentences spoken by the speaker are quoted in a speech, it is known as direct speech/narration.

Is knowing reported speech necessary for Class 10?

Having a basic understanding of reported speech is necessary for students of any class or age. Solving exercises on direct and indirect speech will help them understand thoroughly and use them correctly.

What is indirect speech?

When the quoted speech is reported in the form of a narrative without changing the meaning of the actual quotation/words by the speaker, it is called indirect speech. Indirect speech is also known as reported speech.

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Cambridge Dictionary

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Reported speech: indirect speech

Indirect speech focuses more on the content of what someone said rather than their exact words. In indirect speech , the structure of the reported clause depends on whether the speaker is reporting a statement, a question or a command.

Indirect speech: reporting statements

Indirect reports of statements consist of a reporting clause and a that -clause. We often omit that , especially in informal situations:

The pilot commented that the weather had been extremely bad as the plane came in to land. (The pilot’s words were: ‘The weather was extremely bad as the plane came in to land.’ )
I told my wife I didn’t want a party on my 50th birthday. ( that -clause without that ) (or I told my wife that I didn’t want a party on my 50th birthday .)

Indirect speech: reporting questions

Reporting yes-no questions and alternative questions.

Indirect reports of yes-no questions and questions with or consist of a reporting clause and a reported clause introduced by if or whether . If is more common than whether . The reported clause is in statement form (subject + verb), not question form:

She asked if [S] [V] I was Scottish. (original yes-no question: ‘Are you Scottish?’ )
The waiter asked whether [S] we [V] wanted a table near the window. (original yes-no question: ‘Do you want a table near the window? )
He asked me if [S] [V] I had come by train or by bus. (original alternative question: ‘Did you come by train or by bus?’ )

Questions: yes-no questions ( Are you feeling cold? )

Reporting wh -questions

Indirect reports of wh -questions consist of a reporting clause, and a reported clause beginning with a wh -word ( who, what, when, where, why, how ). We don’t use a question mark:

He asked me what I wanted.
Not: He asked me what I wanted?

The reported clause is in statement form (subject + verb), not question form:

She wanted to know who [S] we [V] had invited to the party.
Not: … who had we invited …

Who , whom and what

In indirect questions with who, whom and what , the wh- word may be the subject or the object of the reported clause:

I asked them who came to meet them at the airport. ( who is the subject of came ; original question: ‘Who came to meet you at the airport?’ )
He wondered what the repairs would cost. ( what is the object of cost ; original question: ‘What will the repairs cost?’ )
She asked us what [S] we [V] were doing . (original question: ‘What are you doing?’ )
Not: She asked us what were we doing?

When , where , why and how

We also use statement word order (subject + verb) with when , where, why and how :

I asked her when [S] it [V] had happened (original question: ‘When did it happen?’ ).
Not: I asked her when had it happened?
I asked her where [S] the bus station [V] was . (original question: ‘Where is the bus station?’ )
Not: I asked her where was the bus station?
The teacher asked them how [S] they [V] wanted to do the activity . (original question: ‘How do you want to do the activity?’ )
Not: The teacher asked them how did they want to do the activity?

Questions: wh- questions

Indirect speech: reporting commands

Indirect reports of commands consist of a reporting clause, and a reported clause beginning with a to -infinitive:

The General ordered the troops to advance . (original command: ‘Advance!’ )
The chairperson told him to sit down and to stop interrupting . (original command: ‘Sit down and stop interrupting!’ )

We also use a to -infinitive clause in indirect reports with other verbs that mean wanting or getting people to do something, for example, advise, encourage, warn :

They advised me to wait till the following day. (original statement: ‘You should wait till the following day.’ )
The guard warned us not to enter the area. (original statement: ‘You must not enter the area.’ )

Verbs followed by a to -infinitive

Indirect speech: present simple reporting verb

We can use the reporting verb in the present simple in indirect speech if the original words are still true or relevant at the time of reporting, or if the report is of something someone often says or repeats:

Sheila says they’re closing the motorway tomorrow for repairs.
Henry tells me he’s thinking of getting married next year.
Rupert says dogs shouldn’t be allowed on the beach. (Rupert probably often repeats this statement.)

Newspaper headlines

We often use the present simple in newspaper headlines. It makes the reported speech more dramatic:

JUDGE TELLS REPORTER TO LEAVE COURTROOM
PRIME MINISTER SAYS FAMILIES ARE TOP PRIORITY IN TAX REFORM

Present simple ( I work )

Reported speech

Reported speech: direct speech

Indirect speech: past continuous reporting verb

In indirect speech, we can use the past continuous form of the reporting verb (usually say or tell ). This happens mostly in conversation, when the speaker wants to focus on the content of the report, usually because it is interesting news or important information, or because it is a new topic in the conversation:

Rory was telling me the big cinema in James Street is going to close down. Is that true?
Alex was saying that book sales have gone up a lot this year thanks to the Internet.

‘Backshift’ refers to the changes we make to the original verbs in indirect speech because time has passed between the moment of speaking and the time of the report.

In these examples, the present ( am ) has become the past ( was ), the future ( will ) has become the future-in-the-past ( would ) and the past ( happened ) has become the past perfect ( had happened ). The tenses have ‘shifted’ or ‘moved back’ in time.

The past perfect does not shift back; it stays the same:

Modal verbs

Some, but not all, modal verbs ‘shift back’ in time and change in indirect speech.

We can use a perfect form with have + - ed form after modal verbs, especially where the report looks back to a hypothetical event in the past:

He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. (original statement: ‘The noise might be the postman delivering letters.’ )
He said he would have helped us if we’d needed a volunteer. (original statement: ‘I’ll help you if you need a volunteer’ or ‘I’d help you if you needed a volunteer.’ )

Used to and ought to do not change in indirect speech:

She said she used to live in Oxford. (original statement: ‘I used to live in Oxford.’ )
The guard warned us that we ought to leave immediately. (original statement: ‘You ought to leave immediately.’ )

No backshift

We don’t need to change the tense in indirect speech if what a person said is still true or relevant or has not happened yet. This often happens when someone talks about the future, or when someone uses the present simple, present continuous or present perfect in their original words:

He told me his brother works for an Italian company. (It is still true that his brother works for an Italian company.)
She said she ’s getting married next year. (For the speakers, the time at the moment of speaking is ‘this year’.)
He said he ’s finished painting the door. (He probably said it just a short time ago.)
She promised she ’ll help us. (The promise applies to the future.)

Indirect speech: changes to pronouns

Changes to personal pronouns in indirect reports depend on whether the person reporting the speech and the person(s) who said the original words are the same or different.

Indirect speech: changes to adverbs and demonstratives

We often change demonstratives ( this, that ) and adverbs of time and place ( now, here, today , etc.) because indirect speech happens at a later time than the original speech, and perhaps in a different place.

Typical changes to demonstratives, adverbs and adverbial expressions

Indirect speech: typical errors.

The word order in indirect reports of wh- questions is the same as statement word order (subject + verb), not question word order:

She always asks me where [S] [V] I am going .
Not: She always asks me where am I going .

We don’t use a question mark when reporting wh- questions:

I asked him what he was doing.
Not: I asked him what he was doing?

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Russia-Ukraine latest: Navalny's body to be held and undergo 'chemical exam' for two more weeks, his mother told

Alexei Navalny's body will be held by the Russian authorities for another 14 days as tests are carried out, his spokeswoman has said his mother was told. Earlier today, his wife claimed the dissident was poisoned and his body was being hidden.

Monday 19 February 2024 17:34, UK

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  • Navalny's body will not be released for another two weeks, ally says
  • His widow claims he was poisoned and body being hidden
  • CCTV cameras appear to capture midnight convoy transporting body
  • Diana Magnay : There are howls of protests when Putin critics die but nothing changes
  • Russia 'takes control' of Ukrainian stronghold
  • Russian forces trying to take advantage of 'two windows of opportunity'
  • Live reporting by Ollie Cooper and (earlier)  Jess Sharp

As per our last post, Leo Docherty, a minister in the Foreign Office, has delivered a statement in the House of Commons on the death of renowned Putin critic Alexei Navalny.

After offering his "deepest condolences to Mr Navalny's friends, family, and supporters", he said the government was "appalled" by the death and held the Kremlin "fully responsible". 

He called on the Russian government to release his body, after a spokesman for Mr Navalny said earlier that it would be held for a further 14 days (see 3.42ppm post). 

"No one should doubt the dreadful nature of the Russian system," he said, adding his death "must be investigated fully and transparently".

"Those responsible must be held to account, and I can assure the House that we are working at pace to explore all options," he concluded. 

Mr Docherty was standing in for Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron, who is on a visit to the Falkland Islands.

In the next few moments, we're expecting a Commons statement on the death of Alexei Navalny by Foreign Office minister Leo Docherty. 

We'll be across the major developments here, but for full coverage of that statement and subsequent questions, you can follow along in our dedicated Politics Hub live blog here .

European Union sanctions against Moscow are nothing more than a "failed strategy", Hungary's foreign minister has said. 

Peter Szijjarto told a conference in Brussels that additional sanctions "prolonged" the strategy, which he said made no sense and only hurts the economies of those in the EU.

Despite his opinions, Hungary would not veto any sanctions, he added.

Hungary is among the most supportive European nations of Vladimir Putin's regime in Russia, consistently opposing sanctions and frustrating the EU and NATO by slowing aid for Ukraine and accession of Kyiv and other neighbours to the alliance. 

Earlier, Germany called for a fresh wave of sanctions on Moscow after the death of Alexei Navalny, with many officials blaming Vladimir Putin. 

The daughter of a Russian opposition figure killed in Moscow nearly a decade ago says she is convinced that Alexei Navalny's death was murder. 

Zhanna Nemtsova is the daughter of Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated on a bridge in the Russian capital in 2015. 

"Alexei Navalny, the main Russian opposition leader, was killed in prison by Putin. I consider what happened to be a murder," she said. 

"Undoubtedly, this is an act of intimidation and at the same time indicates the weakness of the regime."

Ms Nemtsova said Vladimir Putin was "afraid" of his political rival despite him being in prison.

She also said a Russian investigation would not reveal the truth. 

"In Russia there can be no question of an investigation because of political murder," she said.

"I am absolutely convinced, and I agree with Navalny's team, with his wife Yulia Navalnaya that he was killed in prison," she added. 

Joe Biden has said he is willing to meet with House of Representatives' speaker Mike Johnson to discuss a bill that would provide Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan massive US funding. 

Speaking as he returned to the White House after a weekend away, the president said Republicans were making a big mistake by opposing the bill. 

"Sure I'd be happy to meet with him, if he has anything to say," Mr Biden said. 

Mr Johnson has been demanding a meeting for some time, indicating last week that he has no intention of allowing the chamber to vote on the measures in the immediate future. 

The president also said additional sanctions were being considered by Washington on Moscow after the death of Alexei Navalny in a Siberian prison on Friday. 

"We already have sanctions, but we are considering additional sanctions, yes," he said. 

For context: The bill, worth some $95bn (£75bn), was approved by the Democrat-led Senate on 13 February, but is likely to face stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

Both houses of Congress must approve the bill before President Biden can sign it into law. 

Some $60bn (£47bn) of the package is allocated for military aid for Ukraine alone. 

However, former president Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress want funding directed toward domestic issues such as border control, rather than on foreign wars. 

A date has not yet been set for a vote, and its chances of passing are uncertain at best. 

Donald Trump has had his say on the death of Alexei Navalny. 

In a message on his social media site Truth Social, the former US president said the death of the Putin critic "made me more and more aware of what is happening in our country".

"It is a slow, steady progression, with crooked, radical left politicians, prosecutors and judges leading us down a path to destruction," he said.

"Open borders, rigged elections, and grossly unfair courtroom decisions are destroying America. We are a nation in decline, a failing nation."

Mr Trump did not expand on these comments, but has repeatedly stated that Russia and Vladimir Putin would not be so bold under his presidency in previous interviews.

Alexei Navalny's body will not be released for a further 14 days, according to his spokesperson.

"The investigators told the lawyers and Alexei's mother that they would not give them the body," she said on X.

"The body will be under some sort of 'chemical examination' for another 14 days." 

Her comments come after Mr Navalny's wife claimed he was poisoned with novichok, accusing Russian authorities of hiding his body as they wait for traces of the nerve agent to disappear. 

His mother and his lawyer have thus far been denied of seeing his body. 

Joe Biden's administration is considering sending Ukraine long-range ballistic missiles if Washington's latest tranche of military aid to Ukraine is approved, our partner network NBC News reports.

Late last year, the US began to supply Ukraine with Army Tactical Missile Systems, known as ATACMS, but so far has provided only the older medium-range kind. 

Now, according to sources familiar with the matter, the US is leaning towards sending the longer-range version of the missile, which would allow Ukraine to strike further inside the Russian-held Crimean Peninsula. 

But US funding for arms shipments to Ukraine remains uncertain because of opposition from Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress, who want funding directed toward domestic issues such as border control, rather than on foreign wars. 

Last week the Senate passed a $95bn foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, but it's not clear whether or when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will vote on the measure - and its chances of passing if it does vote are uncertain at best. 

ATACMS hit the headlines when they appeared in the last weapons package for Ukraine, given the West's general reluctance to provide Kyiv with weapons that could penetrate Russian territory, and the inclusion of newer models that can travel further will likely gather similar interest internationally. 

European Union countries including Germany are calling for additional sanctions against Russia after the death in jail of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

They were already discussing a package of measures to mark the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

It will be the EU's 13th set of penalties since Moscow's troops crossed the border on 24 February 2022.

The bloc's top diplomat said he expected countries to seek targeted sanctions against certain Russian officials over the death of Mr Navalny.

"Member states will propose sanctions for sure against those responsible," Josep Borrell said.

"The responsible [person] is Putin himself.

"We can go down the institutional structure of the penitentiary system in Russia. But don't forget who is really responsible for Mr Navalny's death." 

Eleven Ukrainian children will be reunited with their families today under a deal brokered by Qatar. 

Qatar's foreign ministry said the agreement marks the third reunification process and includes children between the ages of two and 16, some of whom have medical needs. 

The children involved are: 

  • Two-year-old twins who were placed in a children's home in Russian-controlled territory by their parents due to financial struggles. 
  • A five-year-old and a six-year-old who were evacuated to a special care facility in Crimea at the start of the war. 
  • A five-year-old who was living with his grandparents in Russian-controlled territory and will be reunited with his mother.
  • A 15-year-old who was living with her mother in Zaporizhzhia until she died last year. 
  • A four-year-old living with his father in Russia who recently suffered a stroke and was hospitalised. He will now be reunited with his mother, who is living in Ukraine.
  • A 13-year-old and a 10-year-old who were living with their mother in territory controlled by Russia in Donetsk until she died. They will be reunited with their uncle. 
  • A 14-year-old will be returned to his mother - who has recently been released from captivity. 
  • A 16-year-old will be reunited with his aunt after his family died while trying to evacuate Luhansk. 

Lolwah al Khater, the Qatari international cooperation minister, said: "It is heart-warming to see that 11 more children have today been safely reunited with their families in Ukraine.

"The mechanism we have put in place to facilitate the safe reunification of children is now firmly established and proving to be effective." 

As in previous operations, the children and their guardians will first leave for Moscow from their locations in conflict regions or in Russian territory.

They will then travel from Moscow to Belarus on their way to the Ukrainian border.

Once at the border, the Ukrainian authorities will escort them to Kyiv.

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IMAGES

  1. Reported Speech: How To Use Reported Speech

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  2. Reported Speech: A Complete Grammar Guide ~ ENJOY THE JOURNEY

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  3. ESL Teachers: REPORTED SPEECH

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  4. Reported Speech شرح

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  5. Grammar Lesson

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  6. Reported Speech

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VIDEO

  1. Narration, Reported Speech, Direct indirect

  2. Reported Speech Sentences (Pre-intermediate)

  3. 1AS- English "Reported speech" (Requests/Orders/Questions) السنة الاولى ثانوي- انجليزية علمي وأدبي

  4. The Reported Speech Rap

  5. Reported speech 1

  6. Reported speech

COMMENTS

  1. Reported speech

    (verb + to -infinitive) He suggested stopping and having a picnic. (verb + - ing form) See reporting verbs with that, wh- and if clauses, verbs followed by the infinitive, verbs followed by the -ing form. Reporting and summarising 1 Reporting and summarising 2 Tenses in reported speech

  2. Reported Speech

    Here's how it works: We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. ( Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell' .) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence: Direct speech: I like ice cream. Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.

  3. Reported Speech

    | Grammar They say gossip is a natural part of human life. That's why language has evolved to develop grammatical rules about the "he said" and "she said" statements. We call them reported speech. Every time we use reported speech in English, we are talking about something said by someone else in the past.

  4. Definition and Examples of Reported Speech

    Reported speech is the report of one speaker or writer on the words spoken, written, or thought by someone else. Also called reported discourse .

  5. Reported speech

    Reported speech is how we represent the speech of other people or what we ourselves say. There are two main types of reported speech: direct speech and indirect speech. Direct speech repeats the exact words the person used, or how we remember their words: Barbara said, "I didn't realise it was midnight."

  6. Reported Speech: Rules, Examples, Exceptions

    Reported Speech: She said she'd been to London three times. There are a lot of tricky little details to remember, but don't worry, I'll explain them and we'll see lots of examples. The lesson will have three parts - we'll start by looking at statements in reported speech, and then we'll learn about some exceptions to the rules ...

  7. Reported Speech: Structures and Examples

    Reported speech (Indirect Speech) is how we represent the speech of other people or what we ourselves say. Reported Speech focuses more on the content of what someone said rather than their exact words The structure of the independent clause depends on whether the speaker is reporting a statement, a question, or a command. Table of Contents

  8. Indirect speech

    Exercise 1 Choose the correct form to complete the sentences below. 1 'I work in a bank.' ⇒ He said that he in a bank. 2 'I am working today.' ⇒ She told us she that day. 3 'I've been ill for a couple of weeks.' ⇒ He told me he for a couple of weeks. 4 'I was at the doctor all morning.' ⇒ She told me that she at the doctor all morning.

  9. What is Reported Speech and How to Use It? with Examples

    Reported speech: He said he would meet me at the park the next day. In this example, the present tense "will" is changed to the past tense "would." 3. Change reporting verbs: In reported speech, you can use different reporting verbs such as "say," "tell," "ask," or "inquire" depending on the context of the speech.

  10. Reported speech

    She said she was having the interview at four o'clock. (Direct speech: 'I'm having the interview at four o'clock.') They said they'd phone later and let me know. (Direct speech: 'We'll phone later and let you know.') OK, in that last example, you changed you to me too.

  11. Reported Speech: Important Grammar Rules and Examples • 7ESL

    In short, reported speech is the linguistic technique that we use to tell somebody what someone else's direct speech was. In reported speech though, you may need to make certain changes to the grammar to make the sentence make sense.

  12. The Reported speech

    4. Reported speech for questions. When we use reported speech to express a question we also move the verb tense of the original sentence one tense back as with the statements, but the sentence no longer has the structure of the question and takes the structure of a statement. The sentence in reported speech will be introduced by the verb ask.. A question can be preceded or not by a question ...

  13. Reported Speech in English Grammar

    Introduction In English grammar, we use reported speech to say what another person has said. We can use their exact words with quotation marks, this is known as direct speech, or we can use indirect speech. In indirect speech, we change the tense and pronouns to show that some time has passed.

  14. Reported Speech: How to Use Reported Speech

    The reported speech reproduces the words of another person by adapting certain temporal and local references of the original speech to the situation of the speaker, for example, personal pronouns, demonstratives, verb tenses, and adverbs of place or time.. It is characterized by introducing the message that is reproduced with a speaking verb followed by conjunctions that or if.

  15. Reported Speech

    Therefore, you need to learn how to transform direct speech into reported speech. The structure is a little different depending on whether you want to transform a statement, question or request. Statements. When transforming statements, check whether you have to change: pronouns; present tense verbs (3rd person singular)

  16. Time and Place in Reported Speech

    Quiz Time and Place in Reported Speech When we report something, we may need to make changes to: time (now, tomorrow) place (here, this room) Don't confuse time with tense. "Tense" is the grammatical form of the verb that in the reported clause we sometimes shift back (backshift).

  17. Reported Speech

    Reported speech is used when someone says a sentence, like, "I'm going to the movie tonight". Later, we want to tell a 3rd person what the first person is doing. It works like this: We use a reporting verb i.e 'say' or 'tell'. In the present tense, just put in 'he says. Direct Speech: I like burgers.

  18. Officials sound alarm about new Russian 'space threat'

    Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shown in 2023, called the unspecified risk a "serious national security threat." (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post ...

  19. Reported Speech

    According to the Cambridge Dictionary, reported speech is defined as "the act of reporting something that was said, but not using exactly the same words." The Macmillan Dictionary defines reported speech as "the words that you use to report what someone else has said." Rules to be Followed When Using Reported Speech

  20. Remarks by President Biden on the Reported Death of Aleksey Navalny

    Roosevelt Room 12:37 P.M. EST THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I — I'm heading off to East Palestine in — in a moment, but I wanted to say a few things this morning about Aleksey Navalny. You ...

  21. Reported Speech Exercises with Answers for Class 10

    Reported Speech Exercises for Class 10 with Answers. Here is an exercise on the transformation of direct speech to indirect speech. Go through the following sentences, work them out and then check your answers to assess how far you have understood their usage. Change as directed . Read the following sentences and change them into reported speech.

  22. Reported speech: indirect speech

    from English Grammar Today Indirect speech focuses more on the content of what someone said rather than their exact words. In indirect speech, the structure of the reported clause depends on whether the speaker is reporting a statement, a question or a command. Indirect speech: reporting statements

  23. Biden's Age and Memory Rise to Center of 2024 Presidential Campaign

    A special counsel's stinging report and an uneven White House appearance captured Democrats' fears about President Biden and fueled Republicans as they try to cast him as weak.

  24. Biden defends himself in a press conference after classified documents

    President Biden gave a fiery defense of his mental acuity and his conduct after a special counsel concluded Biden willfully held onto classified materials. The special counsel recommended no charges.

  25. Russia-Ukraine latest: Russia will hold Navalny's body for two more

    Donald Trump has had his say on the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. In a message posted on social media site Truth Social, the former US president said the death of the Putin ...

  26. Alexei Navalny, Putin critic and opposition figure, dies in prison

    Navalny's death was first reported Friday by Russia's state media. The Federal Penitentiary Service of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, where he was being held, said Navalny, 47, "felt ...