Reported speech rules, examples

Reported Speech

Use

When you report someone’s words you can do it in 2 ways:

Direct speech

1. You can use direct speech with quotation marks.
Example: He said: “I work in a bank.”

Reported speech

2. You can use reported speech.
Example: He said he worked in a bank.

The tenses, word-order, pronouns may be different from those in the direct speech sentence.

Direct speech: Jake said: I bought some DVDs.
Reported speech: Jake said that he bought some DVDs.

Simple Present

Simple present tense usually changes to the simple past in reported speech.

Examples: Direct speech    Reported speech / Indirect speech

He says, "We are in London for the first time." Direct speech
He says (that) they are in London for the first time. Reported speech - Indirect speech

He says, "We were in London for the first time." Direct speech
He says (that) they were in London for the first time. Reported speech - Indirect speech

Simple Past

The simple past tense usually changes to the past perfect in reported speech.

Change of tenses

The tenses, word-order, pronouns may be different from those in the direct speech sentence. The Past Perfect Tense does not change in the Reported Speech.

  Direct speech Reported speech
Ann said: "I want ice-cream." Ann said that she wanted ice-cream.
Simple Past Simple Present Simple Past
Simple Past Simple Past
Present Perfect
Past Perfect
Past Perfect
Simple Past will would
Reported speech 'to be'
Simple Past am/is/are was/were
Simple Past was/were
have/has been
had been
had been

Questions - reported speech

"Do you like Jake?"
She asked me if/whether I liked Jake.

Questions with question words

Who is your friend?”
She asked me who my friend was.

Commands - reported speech

“Sit down!” - The teacher told them to sit down.
“Drink a lot of tea!“ - He told us to drink a lot of tea.

Negatives

Ann said that she wanted coke.
Ann said that she didn`t want coke.

Tom said that he was ill.
Tom said that he wasn't ill.

Change of pronouns, date and place words

  • the change of tenses
  • the change of pronouns
  • the change of time and place words

   Direct speech  Reported speech - Indirect speech
Change of pronouns  I
 We
 my
 your
 our
 me
 us

 ⇒  he/she
 ⇒  they
 ⇒  his/her
 ⇒  my
 ⇒  their
 ⇒  him/her
 ⇒  them

Change of place and time words  here
 today
 this morning
 yesterday
 tomorrow
 next week
 next month
 ⇒  there
 ⇒  that day
 ⇒  that morning
 ⇒  the day before
 ⇒  the next day
 ⇒  the following week
 ⇒  the following month

Tests reported speech and exercises

41 Reported speech all tenses  all tenses
42 Mixed exercises all forms tenses
43 All tenses place, time
44 Reported speech place, time
45 All tenses place, time

Reported speech rules

Reported speech with explanations, examples and exercises. Change the following sentences into Reported speech and learn with English online exercises.

Free tutorial Reported speech. English Reported speech exercises. English grammar easy to learn. Exercícios das aulas de Inglês grátis online, exercícios de vocabulários, gramática inglesa.