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Reported Speech

Use:

Use reported speech to talk about what another person said in the past.

Eve:                       ‘I went to the party on Friday night’.
James:                  ‘Eve said that she had gone to the party on Friday night’.

Form:
1) When reporting speech, the verb in the sentence may shift to a past tense.

 am / is / are changes to was / were
I am fine. She said that she was fine.
present simple changes to past simple
I like it. He said he liked it.
present continuous changes to past continuous
She’s sleeping. He said that she was sleeping.
will changes to would
I’ll be there. You said that you’d be there.
can changes to could
I can come to the meeting. You said that you could come to the meeting.
past simple changes to past perfect
I did the shopping. Tom said that he had done the shopping.
present perfect changes to past perfect
I’ve read that book. I told him that I’d read the book.
past continuous changes to past perfect continuous
She was walking home alone. He said that she had been walking home alone.
present perfect continuous changes to past perfect continuous
I’ve been working, I told him that I’d been working.

2) To report speech, use He / She / I said (that) …
You can also use He / She told me (that)…; I told him / her (that)…
 
3) Don’t use quotation marks (“) when reporting speech.

4) References to times in the past also may need to change when using reported speech, if that time is no longer the same.

this morning / week / month that morning / week / month
yesterday the previous day
last week / month the previous week / month
ago earlier / previously
tomorrow the following day
next week / month the following week / month

Reported commands

If you put a command into Reported speech there are some steps which are the same like in statements: (changing of the person, backshift of tenses, changing of expressions of time).

The form is mostly: form of to tell + to + infinitive.

Affirmative commands Negative commands
Father: “Do your homework.” Teacher. “Don’t talk to your neighbour.”
Father told me to do my homework. The teacher told me not to talk to my neighbour.

Reported questions

If you put a question into Reported speech there are some steps which are the same like in statements: (changing of the person, backshift of tenses, changing of expressions of time).

In Reported speech there is no question anymore, the sentence becomes a statement.
That’s why the word order is: subject – verb

Question without question words (yes/no questions):
Peter: “Do you play football?” – Peter asked me whether (if) I played football.

Question with question words:
Peter: “When do you play football?” – Peter asked me when I played football

Finish the sentences using Reported speech. Alwayschange the tense, although it is sometimes not necessary.Example: Peter: “Clean the black shoes!”
Peter told me _________________________

Answer: Peter told me to clean the black shoes.

Change the following statements into reported speech!

  1. The announcer said, “It’s difficult to make a prediction so soon”
  2. Martha said, “Has your brother even taken an English course?”
  3. Dorothy said to Don, ” Turn the lights on in the living room.”
  4. “when do you plan to leave Boston?” my secretary asked.
  5. “don’t forget about your appointment,” John’s friend reminded him.
  6. ” I told the police the truth about the accident,” the man repeated.
  7. Father said to us,” I’m going to tell you a big secret about that”
  8. My friend said,” show me all of the photographs.”
  9. Mr.Shaw asked the students, “Did you enjoy your trip yesterday?”
  10. My aunt said to me,”Put your hat and coat in the front closet.”