This is a set of 5 slides in English that explains what Reported Speech is, how and when to use it and the rules we need to take into account when transforming statements in direct speech into indirect or reported speech.
List a few ideas or concepts that you already know about reported Speech, which in Spanish is called Estilo Indirecto.
These prompts may help you:
When do we use it and why
Structure of a sentence in reported speech
Changes in verb tenses and other words
Questions in reported speech
Commands in reported speech
What is it and when do we use it?
Let's imagine your friend, teacher, sibling says something to you this morning. Or maybe you hear something interesting on the TV, or you read it on the internet. Later in the day, you may want to tell other people about these things you've heard. This is called "reporting".
When we report someone’s words we can do it in two ways:
1. We can use direct speech with quotation marks “I am tired”. In this case, we are using the exact same words the person used by citing them.
2. We can also use reported speech: He said (that) he was tired. In this case, we are passing on the information in our own words.
How does it work?
Let’s see an example:
This morning in class your teacher said: "You have all passed your exam".
Unfortunately, your best friend was ill today and she missed the class. The next day she asks you about the exam results, and you then report this information: "The teacher said we had all passed the exam".
A number of things changed when we reported "you have all passed the exam". Let's look at them in detail.:
1. We used a reporting verb. Some reporting verbs are: say, tell, mention, suggest, ask, wonder, etc.
E.g. Peter said that... // Mary told me that... The reporting verb will usually be in past tense.
2. We need to change the verb in the direct quotation into a different tense, to illustrate the message is relayed in a different time frame than when it was originally said.
E.g: “I have suffered a terrible accident” --> Peter said that he had suffered a terrible accident.
Other words in the statement such as adverbs of time and place and determiners need to change too.
E.g: “I got a new job last week” --> Mary told me that she had got a new job the previous week.
3. We need a change of subject.
E.g: "I am late for class this morning." --.> He said he was late for class that morning.
1. No change of time or circumstance = No change of verb tense.
E.g: You are all in class and the teacher says: “You have all passed the exam”. The classmate sitting next to you asks you: “What did he say? I wasn’t paying attention”. You answer him: He says we have all passed the exam.
2. As in the example above shows, if the reporting verb is in the present (he says) there is no need to change the tense of the reported verb in the reported clause (have passed). Same rule applies if the reporting verbs are in the future or the present perfect.
E. g: A: I have got a jumper for Marks and Spencer that doesn't fit me anymore. Would you like to keep it?
B: Sorry, it isn't really my cup of tea, but I will tell Jane you've got it and maybe she will keep it. She loves M&S.
A: "The School will be participating in Charity works next month."
B: The headmaster has announced that the school will be participating in Charity works next month.
3. Universal truths or facts.
E. g: Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Julied”--> The teacher said that Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet.
4. Some verb forms can’t go further in the past. E.g: Used to, Past perfect, would, past modals, should.