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 Reported speech - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary Reported speech 1 – statements. Do you know how to report what somebody else said? Look at these examples to see how we can tell someone what another person said. direct speech: 'I 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 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 ... read more
It's exactly the same if you use 'that' or if you don't use 'that'. But , if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:. Occasionally, we don't need to change the present tense into the past if the information in direct speech is still true but this is only for things which are general facts, and even then usually we like to change the tense :.
Click here for a mixed tense exercise about practise reported statements. Click here for a list of all the reported speech exercises. So now you have no problem with making reported speech from positive and negative sentences. But how about questions? Click here to practise reported 'wh' questions. Reported Requests.
All of these requests mean the same thing, so we don't need to report every word when we tell another person about it. And finally, how about if someone doesn't ask so politely? We can call this an 'order' in English, when someone tells you very directly to do something. For example:. In fact, we make this into reported speech in the same way as a request. We just use 'tell' instead of 'ask':. Time Expressions with Reported Speech Sometimes when we change direct speech into reported speech we have to change time expressions too.
We don't always have to do this, however. It depends on when we heard the direct speech and when we say the reported speech. For example: It's Monday.
Julie says "I'm leaving today ". If I tell someone on Monday, I say "Julie said she was leaving today ". If I tell someone on Tuesday, I say "Julie said she was leaving yesterday ". If I tell someone on Wednesday, I say "Julie said she was leaving on Monday ". If I tell someone a month later, I say "Julie said she was leaving that day ". So, there's no easy conversion. You really have to think about when the direct speech was said.
Here's a table of some possible conversions:. Need more practice? Get more Perfect English Grammar with our courses. I'm Seonaid and I hope you like the website. Please contact me if you have any questions or comments. Reported Speech Click here for a list of reported speech exercises. Reported Statements When do we use reported speech? Watch my reported speech video: Here's how it works: We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'.
We just put 'she says' and then the sentence: Direct speech: I like ice cream. Reported speech: She says that she likes ice cream. But , if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech: Direct speech: I like ice cream.
Reported speech: She said that she liked ice cream. Tense Direct Speech Reported Speech present simple I like ice cream She said that she liked ice cream. present continuous I am living in London She said that she was living in London. past simple I bought a car She said that she had bought a car OR She said that she bought a car.
past continuous I was walking along the street She said that she had been walking along the street. present perfect I haven't seen Julie She said that she hadn't seen Julie. will I'll see you later She said that she would see me later. can I can speak perfect English She said that she could speak perfect English. shall I shall come later She said that she would come later. Occasionally, we don't need to change the present tense into the past if the information in direct speech is still true but this is only for things which are general facts, and even then usually we like to change the tense : Direct speech: The sky is blue.
Reported Questions So now you have no problem with making reported speech from positive and negative sentences. Direct speech: Where do you live? How can we make the reported speech here? In fact, it's not so different from reported statements. The tense changes are the same, and we keep the question word. The very important thing though is that, once we tell the question to someone else, it isn't a question any more.
So we need to change the grammar to a normal positive sentence. A bit confusing? Maybe this example will help: Direct speech: Where do you live? Reported speech: She asked me where I lived. Do you see how I made it? The direct question is in the present simple tense. We make a present simple question with 'do' or 'does' so I need to take that away. Then I need to change the verb to the past simple. Another example: Direct speech: Where is Julie? Reported speech: She asked me where Julie was.
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Adjectives Adjectives: forms Adjectives: order Adjective phrases: functions Adjective phrases: position Adjectives and adjective phrases: typical errors. Comparison: adjectives bigger , biggest , more interesting Comparison: clauses bigger than we had imagined Comparison: comparisons of equality as tall as his father As … as.
Adverbs Adverb phrases Adverbs and adverb phrases: position Adverbs and adverb phrases: typical errors Adverbs: forms Adverbs: functions Adverbs: types Comparison: adverbs worse, more easily Fairly Intensifiers very, at all Largely Much , a lot , lots , a good deal : adverbs Pretty Quite Rather Really Scarcely Very.
About Ago Already Always Early Ever Hardly ever , rarely , scarcely , seldom Next No longer , not any longer No more , not any more Now Often Once Soon Still Then Usually Eventually. Afraid Alike Hard Long Only Same, similar, identical Likely and unlikely As well as Even Hardly Hopefully Surely Too Ultimately. Above or over? Across , over or through? Advice or advise? Affect or effect? All or every?
All or whole? Allow , permit or let? Almost or nearly? Alone , lonely , or lonesome? Along or alongside? Already , still or yet? Also , as well or too?
Alternate ly , alternative ly Although or though? Altogether or all together? Amount of , number of or quantity of? Any more or anymore? Anyone , anybody or anything? Apart from or except for? Arise or rise?
Around or round? Arouse or rouse? As or like? As , because or since? As , when or while? Been or gone? Begin or start? Beside or besides? Between or among? Born or borne? Bring , take and fetch Can , could or may? Classic or classical? Come or go? Consider or regard? Consist , comprise or compose? Content or contents? Different from , different to or different than? Do or make? Down , downwards or downward? During or for? Each or every? East or eastern ; north or northern? Economic or economical?
Efficient or effective? Elder , eldest or older , oldest? End or finish? Especially or specially? Except or except for? Expect , hope or wait? Experience or experiment? Fall or fall down? Far or a long way? Farther , farthest or further , furthest? Fast , quick or quickly? Fell or felt? Female or feminine ; male or masculine?
Finally , at last , lastly or in the end? First , firstly or at first? Fit or suit? Following or the following? For or since? Forget or leave? Full or filled? Fun or funny? Get or go? Grateful or thankful? Hear or listen to? High or tall? Historic or historical? House or home? How is …? or What is … like? If or when? If or whether? Ill or sick? Imply or infer? In the way or on the way? Late or lately? Lay or lie?
Lend or borrow? Less or fewer? Look at , see or watch? Low or short? Man , mankind or people? Maybe or may be? Maybe or perhaps? Nearest or next? Never or not … ever? Nice or sympathetic? No doubt or without doubt? No or not? Nowadays , these days or today? Open or opened? Opportunity or possibility?
Opposite or in front of? Other , others , the other or another? Out or out of? Permit or permission? Person , persons or people? Pick or pick up? Play or game? Politics , political , politician or policy? Price or prize? Principal or principle? Quiet or quite? Raise or rise? Remember or remind? Right or rightly? Rob or steal? Say or tell? So that or in order that? Sometimes or sometime?
Sound or noise? Speak or talk? Such or so? Towards or toward? Wait or wait for? Wake , wake up or awaken? Worth or worthwhile? Nouns Nouns: form Nouns and prepositions Nouns: compound nouns Nouns: countable and uncountable Nouns: forming nouns from other words Nouns: singular and plural Accommodation Equipment Furniture Information Luck and lucky News Progress Weather.
Noun phrases: dependent words Noun phrases: order Noun phrases: uses Noun phrases: noun phrases and verbs Noun phrases: two noun phrases together. Pronouns: possessive my , mine , your , yours , etc. Pronouns: reflexive myself , themselves , etc. Pronouns: indefinite - body , - one , - thing , - where Pronouns: one , you , we , they Relative pronouns Questions: interrogative pronouns what , who Someone , somebody , something , somewhere That.
A bit All Any Both Either Enough Least , the least , at least Less Little , a little , few , a few Lots , a lot , plenty Many More Most , the most , mostly Much , many , a lot of , lots of : quantifiers No , none and none of Plenty Some Some and any. How What When Where Which Who , whom Whose Why. Piece words and group words Comparison: nouns more money , the most points Nouns and gender Reported speech: reporting nouns Age Half Holiday and holidays Mind Opinion Promise Reason Sort , type and kind Thing and stuff View Way Work noun.
Collocation Commands and instructions Commentaries Invitations Offers Requests Greetings and farewells: hello , goodbye , Happy New Year Suggestions Telephoning Warnings.
Dates Measurements Number Time. Geographical places Names and titles: addressing people Nationalities, languages, countries and regions Place names. Abroad Away and away from Back Inside Nearby Outside Up. Reported speech Reported speech: direct speech Reported speech: indirect speech. Pronunciation Intonation Politeness Interjections ouch, hooray Tags Chunks Ellipsis Headers and tails Hyperbole Vague expressions Downtoners Hedges just Substitution All right and alright Please and thank you Here and there Just Kind of and sort of Oh So and not with expect , hope , think , etc.
So Yes Anyway Discourse markers so, right, okay In fact Okay , OK Well You know You see. British and American English Dialect Double negatives and usage Formal and informal language Newspaper headlines Register Slang Standard and non-standard language Swearing and taboo expressions. Past simple I worked Past continuous I was working Past continuous or past simple? Past simple or present perfect?
Used to Past perfect simple I had worked Past perfect continuous I had been working Past perfect simple or past perfect continuous? Past perfect simple or past simple? Past verb forms referring to the present Past: typical errors.
Present continuous I am working Present perfect continuous I have been working Present perfect simple I have worked Present perfect simple or present perfect continuous? Present perfect: typical errors Present simple I work Present simple or present continuous? Present: typical errors Present verb forms referring to the past. Finite and non-finite verbs Imperative clauses Be quiet!
Infinitives with and without to Infinitive: active or passive? Perfect infinitive with to to have worked Verbs: basic forms Verbs: formation.
Hate , like , love and prefer Hear , see , etc. Get passive Have something done Passive: forms Passives with and without an agent Passive: uses Passive: other forms Passive: typical errors.
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. I told them that I was tired. 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. 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. She asked if [S] [V] I was Scottish. The waiter asked whether [S] we [V] wanted a table near the window. He asked me if [S] [V] I had come by train or by bus.
Questions: yes-no questions Are you feeling cold? 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. She wanted to know who [S] we [V] had invited to the party. 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. He wondered what the repairs would cost. She asked us what [S] we [V] were doing.
I asked her where [S] the bus station [V] was. The teacher asked them how [S] they [V] wanted to do the activity. Not: The teacher asked them how did they want to do the activity? Questions: wh- questions. 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.
The chairperson told him to sit down and to 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. The guard warned us not to enter the area. Verbs followed by a to -infinitive. 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:.
Rupert probably often repeats this statement. We often use the present simple in newspaper headlines. It makes the reported speech more dramatic:. PRIME MINISTER SAYS FAMILIES ARE TOP PRIORITY IN TAX REFORM. Present simple I work. Reported speech. Reported speech: direct speech. 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. Indirect speech: reporting statements. I told her I was not very happy at work. They told us they were going home. He asked what had happened to make her so angry. 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.
Backshift changes direct. He asked if the girls had already left. She said it must be awful to live in such a noisy place. He said they could sell it for about 2, euros. He said he would buy it if he had the money.
He said the noise might have been the postman delivering letters. Used to and ought to do not change in indirect speech:. She said she used to live in Oxford. The guard warned us that we ought to leave immediately. 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. He probably said it just a short time ago. The promise applies to the future. 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.
I said I would look after Toby. I told James I hoped he would join us that night. same speaker no change to I ; you changes to he. 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.
She said she did not wish to discuss it at that moment in time. The boy protested that he had finished the job three weeks before. She always asks me where [S] [V] I am going. abbreviation for application: a computer program that is designed for a particular purpose. Reported speech: indirect speech. from English Grammar Today.
She asked me who I was. They ordered us to leave at once. to -infinitive clause. Reporting yes-no questions and alternative questions. See also: Questions: yes-no questions Are you feeling cold? Reporting wh -questions. Who , whom and what. See also: Whom. When , where , why and how. See also: Questions: wh- questions. See also: Verbs followed by a to -infinitive. Indirect speech: present simple reporting verb.
Newspaper headlines. See also: Present simple I work Reported speech Reported speech: direct speech. Indirect speech: past continuous reporting verb. See also: Indirect speech: reporting statements. She said she had been working. Backshift changes. Direct speech Indirect speech. He promised they would be there. She said she would need more money. She asked if she should open it. He added that he could see me at 2.
She said she might be back later. He said we could wait in the hallway. She said we had to pay by 30th April.
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 Reported speech 1 – statements. Do you know how to report what somebody else said? Look at these examples to see how we can tell someone what another person said. direct speech: 'I 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 Reported speech - English Grammar Today - a reference to written and spoken English grammar and usage - Cambridge Dictionary 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 ... read more
Do you need to improve your English grammar? Yesterday I argued with my mother because she does not want to celebrate my fifteen-year-old party ending in quarantine. Low or short? I'm Seonaid and I hope you like the website. For example:. I thought the main idea of this link of mine might help, so I'll leave it below. If you keep the verb in the present tense 'Questions: alternative questions Is it black or grey? Notify of. For example:, reported speetch. Changes to personal pronouns in indirect reports depend on whether the person reported speetch the speech and the person s who said the original words are the same or different. Lend or borrow?