Reported Speech

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What is reported speech?

  • Reported speech is how we report what others have said

    • She said that the meeting was at noon.

    • He told me to be on time.

  • Reported speech is different from a direct quotation. If we want to report exactly what someone said, we use quotation marks:

    • Direct quotation: The President said, “My fellow Americans.”

  • Reported speech is more commonly used in spoken English, while direct quotations are more frequently used in writing.

    • Reported speech: “The President called us his fellow Americans.”

How do we use reported speech?

  • “Said” and “told” are the most commonly used verbs in reported speech

    • Jerry told me to catch a taxi to the city center.

    • My mom always said that I should study hard.

  • We can use lots of other verbs to report speech too

    • He mentioned that his flight might be delayed.

    • I suggested that we use more technology in the office.

  • Reporting questions is a little trickier because we may have to change some words. Verbs normally get put into the past tense. Yes/no questions usually need an “if” in reported speech.

    • Direct quotation: Laura said to Joe, “Do you want to go to dinner sometime?”

    • Reported speech: She asked him if he wanted to go to dinner sometime.

      • In this case “Do you want” becomes “if he wanted.”

    • Direct quotation: John asked, “Where did Jane hide the manuscript?”

    • Reported speech: “He wanted to know where Jane hid the manuscript.”

One more thing…

  • In reported speech, we often have to change pronouns and verb tenses.

    • Direct quotation: Martin asked, “May I have some milk in my coffee?”

    • Reported speech: He asked if he could have some milk in his coffee.

    • Direct quotation: The woman stated, “I’m your substitute teacher for the day”

    • Reported speech: She said she was our substitute teacher for the day.

Activity

I. Fill in the Blanks (more than one correct answer is possible)

  • He said that he ___________________ to go to school early.

  • She told me that she _______________ to be president.

II. Change these direct quotations to reported speech

Molly said, “I got a promotion at work.”

Molly told me that she got a promotion at work.

She asked, “Where should I go now?”

He said, “‘X’ marks the spot.”

George commented, “I never liked children.”

Bridget asked, “What time is the meeting?”

The train conductor announced, “This is the last call.”

Rachel said, “Do your homework.”

300-320  
PMP  
2V0-620  
MB2-704  
1V0-601  
350-029  ,
70-178  
MB6-703  
000-080  
1z0-434  ,
1Y0-201  
220-901  ,
350-018  
70-462  ,
PMP  
LX0-104  
70-246  
NSE4  
SSCP  
70-243  
000-080  
700-501  
642-732  
LX0-104  ,
SY0-401  ,
1V0-601  
000-080  ,
70-413  
ICBB  
200-125  ,
70-462  
70-417  
70-483  
70-413  
MB2-704  
N10-006  
300-135  
1Z0-803  
SSCP  
70-177  
200-120  
M70-101  

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