Reported Speech: Structures and Examples

Reported Speech

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.

StatementShe told me she was sick
QuestionHe asked me whether I was sick or not
CommandThey ordered us to take a pill every day

Reported Speech Rules and Examples

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 Tenses and Reported Speech

  • 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 Tenses and Reported Speech

  • 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

Past Tenses and Reported Speech

  • 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”

Reported Speech Examples

These are some examples of sentences using indirect speech

Reported Speech and the Simple Present

The present simple tense usually changes to the past simple

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
I travel a lot in my jobHe said that he travelled a lot in his job
I play video games a lotShe said that he played video games a lot
We run every morningThey said that they ran every morning
I do yoga every weekendShe said that he did yoga every weekend

Reported Speech and Present Continuous

The present continuous tense usually changes to the past continuous.

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
My mom is cookingShe said that her mom was cooking
My brother is watching TVHe said that his brother was watching TV
My family is eating dinnerShe said that her family was eating dinnner
I am doing YogaShe said that she was doing yoga

Reported Speech and the Simple Past

The past simple tense usually changes to the past perfect

Direct Speech Reported Speech
My mom cooked dinnerShe said that her mom had cooked dinner
My brother watched a movieHe said that his brother had watched a movie
My family just ate dinnerShe said that her family just had eaten dinner
I really enjoyed the partyHe said he had really enjoyed the party
Bill arrived on Saturday He said that Bill had arrived on Saturday

Reported Speech and The Past Continuous

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

Direct Speech Reported Speech
My mom was cooking dinnerShe said that her mom had been cooking dinner
My brother was watching a movieHe said that his brother had been watching a movie
My family was talking in the roomShe said that her family had been talking in the room
Derek was doing YogaShe said that Derek was doing Yoga

Reported Speech and The Present Perfect

The present perfect tense usually changes to the past perfect tense

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
My mom has been kindShe said that her mom had always been kind 
My brother has worked hardHe said that his brother had worked hard
My girlfriend has contributed a lotHe said that his girlfriend has contributed a lot
My family has always helpedShe said that her family had always helped

Reported Speech and the Past Perfect

The past perfect tense does not change

Direct SpeechIndirect Speech
My mom had been kind She said that her mom had always been kind 
My brother had worked hardHe said that his brother had worked hard
He has played very wellHe said that he had played very well
My family had always helpedShe said that her family had always helped

Reported Speech and ‘Can’ and ‘can’t’

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

Direct Speech Indirect Speech
My mom can’t remember her nameShe said that her mom couldn’t remember his name
My brother can play soccer wellHe said that his brother could play soccer well
My family can help you a lotShe said that her family could help me a lot
My mom can lend me moneyShe said that she could lend me money

Reported Speech and ‘Will’ and ‘won’t

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

Direct Speech Reported Speech
My mom won’t go to my weddingShe said that her mom wouldn’t go to her wedding
My brother won’t be in my teamHe said that his brother wouldn’t be in her team
My family will help me with some moneyShe said that her family would help her with some money
She will travel to EuropeShe said that she would travel to Europe

Reported Speech and Could and couldn’t

Could and couldn’t doesn’t change

Direct Speech Reported Speech
My mom could go to the weddingShe said that her mom could go to the wedding
My brother could be in your teamHe said that his brother could be in your team
My family could help me outShe said that her family could help me out

Reported Speech and the Future Continuous

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

Direct Speech Reported Speech
I’ll be using the car next FridayShe said that she would be using the car next Friday
I will be going homeHe said that he would be going home
I will be working in NorwayHe said that he would be working in Norway
I will be doing exercisesHe said that he would be doing exercises

Reported Questions Exercises Online

Reported Statements Exercises Online

EnglishPost.org

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