• If the reporting verb (i.e. said) is in the past, the reported clause will be in a past form. This form is usually one step back into the past from the original.
o He said the test wasdifficult.
o She said she watched TV every day.
o Jack said he came to school every day.
• If simple present, present perfect or the future is used in the reporting verb (i.e. says) the tense is retained.
o He says the test is difficult.
o She has said that she watches TV every day.
o Jackwill say that he comes to school every day.
• If reporting a general truth the present tense will be retained.
For example:The teacher said that phrasal verbs are very important.
Changing Pronouns and Time Signifiers
When changing from direct speech to indirect speech, it is often necessary to change the pronouns to match the subject of the sentence.
For example:• She said, "I want to bring my children." BECOMES She said she wanted to bring her children.
• Jack said, "My wife went with me to the show." BECOMES Jack said his wife had gone with him to the show.
It is also important to change time words (signifiers) when referring to present, past or future time to match the moment of speaking.
• She said, "I want tobring my children tomorrow." BECOMES She said she wanted to bring her children the next day.
• Jack said, "My wife went with me to the show yesterday." BECOMES Jack said his wife had gone with him to the show the day before.
When reporting questions, it is especially important to pay attention to sentence order. When reporting yes/ no questions connect the reportedquestion using 'if'. When reporting questions using question words (why, where, when, etc.) use the question word.
• She asked, "Do you want to come with me?" BECOMES She asked me if I wanted to come with her.
• Dave asked, "Where did you go last weekend?" BECOMES Dave asked me where I had gone the previous weekend.
• He asked, "Why are you studyingEnglish?" BECOMES She asked me why I was studying English.
The following chart includes sentences changed from quoted speech to reported speech using a past form. NoteSimple past, present perfect, and past perfect allchange to past perfect in the reported form.
Check your understanding with this reported speech quiz:
|He said, "I live in Paris." |He said helived in Paris. |
|He said, "I am cooking dinner." |He said he was cooking dinner. |
|He said, "I have visted London twice." |He said he had visited London twice. |
|Hesaid, "I went to New York last week." |He said he had gone to New York the week before. |
|He said, "I had already eaten." |He said he had already eaten. |
|He said, "I am going to find a new job." |He said he was going tofind a new job. |
|He said, "I will give Jack a call." |He said he would give Jack a call. |
Reported Speech Transformations Quiz
Reported Speech Quiz
Choose the correct reported speech version of each statement. Each question has only one correct answer. When...