Reported Speech

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We use reported speech when we want to tell someone what another person said.

We use verbs like tell, say and ask to report what someone said.

Copy of SIMPLE copy

Here is how it works:

 

Tense Direct Speech Tense Reported Speech
present simple I like ice cream past simple She said (that) she liked ice cream.
present continuous I am living in London past continuous She said (that) she was living in London.
past simple I bought a car past perfect or past simple She said (that) she had bought a car OR She said (that) she bought a car.
past continuous I was walking along the street past perfect continuous She said (that) she had been walking along the street.
present perfect I haven’t seen Julie past perfect She said (that) she hadn’t seen Julie.
past perfect* I had taken English lessons before past perfect She said (that) she had taken English lessons before.
will I’ll see you later would She said (that) she would see me later.
would* I would help, but..” would She said (that) she would help but…
can I can speak perfect English could She said (that) she could speak perfect English.
could* I could swim when I was four could She said (that) she could swim when she was four.
shall I shall come later would She said (that) she would come later.
should* I should call my mother should She said (that) she should call her mother
might* I might be late might She said (that) she might be late
must I must study at the weekend must or had to She said (that) she must study at the weekend OR She said she had to study at the weekend

* doesn’t change.

We often change other words apart from the verb form:

 

Pronouns

* I – he/she

* You – I/me/they/them

* We – they

* Us – them

* My – his/her

* Your – my/their

 

Time and Place

 

* Here – there

* Now – then/at the moment

* Tomorrow – the next day

* Tonight – that night

* Next week – the following week

* Yesterday – the day before

* Last week – the week before

* Ago – before

 

If you would like to practice reported speech, click here.

 

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