What Is Reported Speech?
When we want to report or deliver what someone has said to a third party, we use reported speech. We will learn all about it in this lesson.
We can report speech in two ways:
Since we want to deliver the same words somebody said to another person, the reported speech does not change. However, the sentence that comes after or before it, is usually in the past tense. Study the following examples:
"I don't want you anymore." I voiced.
"Why can't she come right now?" My mom yelled.
When we want to report a speech indirectly, we use our own words to do it. So, the tenses change. Study the following examples carefully:
Chiara told me they were going on a trip to Italy.
The director said we could move the chairs around.
One important thing we must do when we want to report speech indirectly is to change the tense of the reported speech. In other words, If the sentence is in the simple present tense, it changes to simple past and so it goes on. Take a look at the table below:
Now, let us see how they are used in sentences:
As you can see, the sentence has been back shifted into simple past tense.
In English, we have some reporting verbs that are used to deliver a speech, either directly or indirectly to a third party. Take a look at the following list to get a glimpse of them:
Now let us see some examples with them: