What is reported speech and how do I use it ?

Reported speech, also called indirect speech, is a way to tell someone what another person said, without using the exact words. If you use the exact words of the original speaker, this is called quoted or direct speech. Here are two examples:

She said, ” I eat yoghurt for breakfast”.              QUOTED / DIRECT SPEECH

She said (that) she ate yoghurt for breakfast.    REPORTED / INDIRECT SPEECH

As you can see, changes may need to be made with the verbs as well as with pronouns and time expressions. So, how can you transform direct speech into reported speech?

First, watch the following video grammar lesson on reported sentences by Minoo Short of Anglo-Link.

Now watch the following video. This clip explains how to report  requests, commands and questions:

Here is a chart summarising the tense changes.

The chart was found at http://blog.crdp-versailles.fr/huzzahmateslyceebascan/index.php/post/24/11/2014/Work-on-the-reported-speech

reported-speech

As the time something is said is not necessarily the same as when the information is reported, time expressions may need to change as well. Click below to go to tx-english.com’s explanation of these changes:

TIME WORD CHANGES

 

Need more explantions?

Go to the reported speech page from Core and Quirks: CQ reported speech explanation

PRACTISE TIME!!

Click on the following quiz links to test your knowledge of reported speech

RAGS TO RICHES QUIZ

ESL-LOUNGE QUIZ

REPORTED QUESTIONS MATCH

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About Michele

Energetic and passionate English (EFL) teacher with more than ten years teaching experience.

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