What Is Reported Speech?
Reported speech involves three participants. One says something and the other one delivers their speech to a third person.
Reported Speech: Uses
When we want to repeat what somebody else said, we use reported speech. Take a look at these examples for more clarification:
Reported Speech: Types
There are two types of reported speech in English:
Direct Speech: Structure
Direct reported speech has two parts. The first part contains a reporting verb that is usually in the past simple tense, but it can be in other tenses too. The second part is the exact words of the 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 speaker, then we are using indirect speech. For example:
Indirect Speech: Structure
To make indirect speech, we use a reporting verb which can be followed by that, and then a reported indirect speech which has been derived from the direct speech using backshift. Pay attention to the examples:
In this example the direct speech is "We will be there for you."
What Is Backshift?
To form reported speech, the tense and formation of some words, adverbs, and verbs undergo changes. This is called backshift. Check out the table below to see common forms of backshift:
|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 are the common forms of modal backshift:
What Are Reporting Verbs?
Reporting verbs are numerous 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
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Reported Speech: Direct Speech
Mainly, there are two types of reported speech: direct speech and indirect speech. In this lesson, we will focus on the first type: how to use direct speech.
Reported Speech: Indirect Speech
There are two main types of reported speech: direct speech and indirect speech. In this lesson, we will learn about how to use indirect speech in English.