What Is Reported Speech?
Reported speech involves three participants. One says something and the other one delivers his speech to a third person.
Why Do We Use Reported Speech?
When we want to say what somebody else said, we use reported speech. Take a look at these examples for more clarification:
Different Types of Reported Speech
There are two types of reported speech in English:
Direct speech is to repeat the exact words of somebody to someone else. In written style, the quote is placed between quotation marks (" "). Remember not to change any of the declared words. For example:
"They will always be in my life." Hanna
How To Use Direct Speech
Direct reported speech has two parts. The first part contains a reporting verb that is usually in the past simple tense, however, it can have different tenses. The second part is the exact words of a person whose speech is being reported.
"I am not alone." Sam
If we narrate someone's speech indirectly with our own words and not using the exact words of the person, then we are using indirect speech.
How to Use Indirect Speech
To make indirect speech we use a reporting verb optionally followed by that preceding a reported indirect speech which has been derived from the direct speech by using backshift.
In this example the direct speech is "We will be there for you."
What Is Backshift?
To make reported speech, some words, adverbs, and verbs change in tense and formation. This is called backshift. Check out the table below to see common backshifts:
|present simple||past simple|
|present continuous||past continuous|
|present perfect simple||past perfect simple|
|present perfect continuous||past perfect continuous|
|past continuous||past perfect continuous|
Here is the modal backshift:
What Are Reporting Verbs?
Reporting verbs are a lot in English grammar, but here are the most common ones:
As its name requires reported speech is used to report a dialogue. There are two kinds of reporting in English.
- indirect speech
- direct speech